Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Some parents report soothing their crying infants with alternative remedies, such as:

  • Herbal teas
  • Herbal remedies, such as fennel oil
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Sugar water
  • Gripe water (a mix of water and herbs)
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Acupuncture

But, no alternative therapies for colic have been proved to be consistently helpful. Some might even be dangerous.

Herbal products and supplements aren't regulated in the same way that drugs are. They may contain inconsistent amounts of certain ingredients, or they may be contaminated.

Several homeopathic remedies contain low amounts of potentially toxic substances. Even something that seems harmless, such as sugar water, could be a problem if it causes your baby to stop feeding properly.

Before trying an alternative therapy, talk to your baby's doctor to find out what's safe and what might be harmful.

May 14, 2014