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Gripe water is a home remedy for babies with colic, gas, teething pain or other stomach ailments. Its ingredients vary, and may include alcohol, bicarbonate, ginger, dill, fennel and chamomile. It is typically given to the infant with a dropper in liquid form; a single dose may be 2.5 to 10 ml, depending on the age of the baby, repeated several times daily. Adults may also take gripe water for soothing intestinal pains, gas or other stomach ailments. Despite a lack of scientific evidence for efficacy, gripe water has been recommended by various alternative practitioners.Although many various forms of concoctions to fix minor upset stomachs in babies have been around for centuries in different cultures, the first "gripe water" was formulated in England in 1851 and used by English nannies. The original Woodward's Gripe Water contained 3.6% alcohol, dill oil, sodium bicarbonate, sugar and water.In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration ordered an automatic detention of all shipments of gripe water into the U.S. on the basis of it being an unapproved drug. It has been marketed online as a supplement. The product, from the United Kingdom, India and other countries, can be found in many ethnic grocery stores throughout US. Many of the bottles imported from other countries still contain significant amounts of alcohol and bicarbonate which depending on the dosages may be harmful to children.A 2000 review in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found that most typical ingredients of gripe water are of questionable value in relieving infantile discomfort, and that getting a fussy baby to stop crying may be no more complicated than giving it some sweet-tasting liquid.The gripe water story. J.R. Soc. Med 2000;93:172-174.
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