Fennel, for Soothin Colic

New product stops the crying.

WHAT IT IS Fennel (Foeniculum vulgate) is an aromatic herb that tastes bulbs faintly like licorice. Cooks use fennel and stalks like celery.

WHAT FOLK MEDICINE SAYS This herb ha an age-old reputation in Europe as a colic easer, stomach soother, and breast-milk booster.

WHAT'S BEEN PROVEN Fennel is a safe, well-studied remedy. Clinical trials have shown it effective for relieving symptoms of indigestion, including pain, nausea, belching, and heartburn. It's also been proven to ease colitis that causes either diarrhea or constipation.

WHAT NEW RESEARCH CONFIRMS Fennel's reputation as a colic cure. One hundred twenty-five colicky babies, ranging from 2 to 12 weeks old, were studied at two large clinics in St. Petersburg, Russia. All were diagnosed with bouts of crying that lasted at least 3 hours for at least 3 days a week. One group of 65 babies were given a fennel-seed-oil preparation; the other 60 babies received a placebo water treatment. Parents kept symptom diaries for 3 weeks: the week before, the week during, and the week after the trial. At the end of the period, 40 of 62 infants (65%) in the fennel group were significantly improved after 7 days of treatment; 14 of 59 infants (24%) in the placebo group improved. No side effects were reported.

Pediacalm was the fennel-seed-off product used in the study. Link to its Web site at www.prevention.com/links. Dose 1/4 tsp between feedings; up to 2 oz a day. Price $7.69 per 6-oz bottle.



By Sara Altshul

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