Chamomile tea is one of the popular herbal drinks used by numerous people for a good health.
Enriched with numerous compounds such as apigenin, alpha-bisabolol, terpenoids, flavonoids, etc., chamomile tea is known to be effective in treating different ailments such as muscle spasm, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorder, hemorrhoids, ulcer, etc.
Although chamomile tea has been adhered to by many people for its health benefits, its use for babies is still a debate.
Why some experts suggest chamomile is safe for babies?
Chamomile is usually considered safe for babies as it’s a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer. Its sedative properties calms the brain without side effects and, therefore, can cure colic effectively and naturally.
Alpha-bisabolol, on the other hand, is a natural monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol which is well known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The compound is also known to ease gastrointestinal disorder.
A clinical trial published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that chamomile extract was useful in reducing colic. The study was conducted on 68 infants with colic.
A random group of infants were fed herbal tea (a mixture of German chamomile, licorice, fennel, balm mint and vervain) and the other group was fed placebo (a mixture of glucose and flavoring). All infants were given 150 ml of either herbal mixture or placebo with every bout of colic, but not more than three times a day.
At the end of the week long study, parents noticed that colic was eliminated in 57% of infants receiving herbal mixture compared to 26% of infants who received placebo. No side effects were reported in either of the group.
A research was conducted on 79 children (0.5 yrs – 5.5 yrs) with acute non-complicated diarrhea. The children were divided into two groups – a group of 39 who received mixture of chamomile extract and apple pectin and another group of 40 who received placebo.
At the end of 3 day trial, it was found that diarrhea ended sooner in 85% of chamomile/pectin group as compared to 58% in placebo group.
Why some experts suggest chamomile is unsafe for babies?
While chamomile is suggested to be a healthy drink for babies by several experts, many have denied the case.
It is a known fact that children up to 6 months of age get sufficient nutrients from mother’s milk. Therefore, parents are suggested not to feed anything to children except mother’s milk, not even water.
In such a case, critics have noted that it would be an unhealthy and unsafe approach to feed children with chamomile tea.
So, should you give chamomile tea to your babies?
Chamomile on adults have been sufficiently studied. However, there still requires more studies to draw specific conclusion for uses of chamomile in children.
Therefore, it would be a good idea for you to look up to your child’s pediatrician before giving any so called natural or herbal drink to your baby.