It stinks when your little one is teething and you just don’t know what to do. Obviously as a natural mama you don’t want to opt for the toxic ingredients in teething gels, so what are you to do?
Why try something natural of course.
Herbal Teething Remedy Options
Wednesday I talked about a couple natural teething aids that were not the best choice for your little ones, and I also shared a few natural options that were great. Today, I’m gonna give you another one, but this time, it’s all herbal.
Enter chamomile tincture and rescue remedy.
Let’s look at each of these natural remedies and see how they each help teething babies.
First off, let’s address one important piece of information.
When I talk about chamomile tincture that will help with teething, I’m talking about an alcohol tincture, not a glycerin tincture. Now you may be thinking that sounds crazy and not safe for babies, but let me explain why it matters.
- A glycerin tincture is never a good thing when using it for anything tooth related. I’ve explained before how glycerin coats the teeth like a wax and prevents remineralization. You can read more about it in this post on toxic ingredients in children’s toothpaste. It’s not that all glycerin tinctures are bad, it’s just that when using them specifically for teething (by actually rubbing it on the gums and teeth), it’s not best.
- Another thing is that glycerin tinctures aren’t as potent or effective as an alcohol tincture. For the most part, this doesn’t matter, but when using an herbal tincture for an important therapeutic purpose, I want something that’s going to really work. Alcohol works really well at penetrating the cell structure of the plant material and extracting the constituents from it. Glycerin doesn’t do this as well.
- Lastly, glycerin tinctures taste good therefore they don’t last as long. It’s like sugar, but without the blood sugar effects. Again, this is normally a good thing as it gets kids to take the tincture, but when it comes to teething, you want to apply the tincture to the swollen or irritated area of the gums and if your kids licks it all off, it’s not gonna do you much good. Am I right?
So, in my opinion an alcohol chamomile tincture is the way to go. Not only will this tincture last a good long while, but it’s antimicrobial, it provides the benefits of relaxation, help sleeping, and decreasing inflammation thanks to the chamomile, and it provides some on-the-spot pain relief due to the alcohol.
Now you may be thinking, “But Meagan! This is my baby, and this is alcohol. I thought that was a big no-no to give children alcohol.” Well, yes, typically alcohol and children don’t mix, but when it comes to medicines (over-the-counter, prescription, and herbal), alcohol is a common solvent that’s used. Not only is it effective at providing relief, but you aren’t really giving your child a large amount of it.
There are two different ways to use a chamomile tincture for teething, and I’d recommend both.
- First, you can figure out how to dose your child’s herbal tincture by using Clark’s Rule found on the determining dosages page of Using Herbs. (The standard adult dose of chamomile tincture for a 150 lb. adult is 30 drops BTW.) You can then add this amount to some water or juice to get your baby to drink it. If they’re nursing, you can squirt a little bit into the corner of their mouth as they’re eating, and they’ll swallow it that way too. This will help them to relax and calm them down. You can skip this step if you’re choosing to use the rescue remedy that we’ll be talking about below as it helps to do the same thing, but don’t forget it as an option.
- Next, you can put a drop or two of tincture on your finger or a cloth and rub it on the spot where you think their tooth is trying to come in. It will usually look red and swollen and sometimes you can see the tooth just below the surface of the gum. This will help to numb the area a bit.
So that’s it for the chamomile tincture. You can either buy it premade (this is the brand I recommend) or you can make your own tincture as well. You can also check out this article about liquid extracts in pediatrics by Dr. Aviva Romm who’s an MD, midwife, and herbalist if you’re still concerned about using alcohol tinctures with your kids. And of course, by all means use glycerin if it’s a big issue. I’d never want you to do something you were uncomfortable with!
Let’s move on to the next piece of the natural teething remedy puzzle.
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
Bach Flower remedies were discovered during the 1920’s and 1930’s in England by Dr. Bach. They consist of 38 different wild flowers that each help bring balance to the mind and emotions of a person in different ways, and they’re safe for the whole family. They’re preserved in alcohol although they do have a alcohol-free bach flower rescue remedy for kids if parents prefer that, and they’re very diluted… much more so than an herbal tincture.
You can purchase and use each of the 38 Bach Flower remedies separately for different things, but the original rescue remedy blend was made to use when you don’t have time to figure out which of the 38 flower essences you need. This is what’s most commonly used for teething.
Rescue Remedy was created using a blend of the following 5 flowers: Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis, and it helps to relieve stress, calm the nerves, relax, and focus. This blend is not meant to be used long term, but for short-term, immediate situation… like teething babies! If you or your child needs something long term, you’d look into individual flower essences to help. (Source)
Now as far as dosing Rescue Remedy goes, I’ve received a lot of questions from moms wanting to know if the dosage is the same for small children or if it should be less than it would for an adult (which is the case most times). The answer is no. The Rescue Remedy site says that adults and children can take the same amount. Remember… this is not a drug. It’s flower water and it’s very mild. It’s meant to balance the mind and emotions… not drug you. Adults and children are to take 4 drops of Rescue Remedy in water or directly on the tongue at least 4 times a day.
And no, you can’t overdose on it. In fact, this is what their site says about taking too much.
It is impossible to overdose with the Bach Flower Remedies, they are 100% natural and safe. You can drink a whole bottle of Remedies and not “overdose.”. However, if you think that “more is better” you are wrong. The Bach Flower Remedies work best over a period of time, taken from the treatment or stock bottle at least 4 times a day.
So there you go… relax and help your teething little one relax too!
It Boils Down To This
All babies experience teething in different ways, and each time will be different. There’s nothing wrong with them. It’s just something that they have to go through. However, you can make it easier for them mama. Not all natural teething remedies or aids will work for your little one, but they’re definitely worth giving a try. In my opinion, this is THE ONE that seems to work consistently as its actions are not only focused on the pain in the mouth, but also on the emotions of the child.