Aceite de Manzanilla: Home remedy for colicky babies
New mommies often get advice on using Aceite de Manzanilla, a small bottle of green oil that seem to have “miraculous” healing effects on colic and ill babies. Is it truly effective, or is it one of those old-wives’-tale passed on by our elders?
If you’re a new mommy, then you most probably have been given an (often unsolicited) advice to have Aceite de Manzanilla for baby. According to Moms, Grandmas, aunts, and elder neighbors, this “miracle” manzanilla oil in a small bottle would come in handy when your baby gets colicky or inexplicably cranky come nighttime.
But you must wonder: is it really effective? Is it even safe to use with your precious little one?
Millennial moms hardly have any idea what it truly is, hence the doubt and fear that it will cause more harm than good.
“My mother-in-law handed me two bottles—Aceite Alcanforado and Aceite de Manzanilla oil—and told me these two are a must-have for her newborn grandchild,” shares new mommy, Stella. These are two names she has never heard before.
Still, she took the bottles and read the labels. There she saw that manzanilla oil is actually a blend of chamomile and citronella oils, which are essential oils that do work miracles on illnesses. Aceite Alcanforado is for cold relief, and Aceite de Manzanilla oil is for stomach pain and digestive problems, and also has a calming effect on colicky babies.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla o Chamaemelum nobile)
German chamomile and Roman chamomile are two essential oils that have calming and soothing effects on babies and children who are having a hard time sleeping. Chamomile oil is extracted from the flowers of the chamomile plant, which is very popular as a flowering plant.
Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb that contains medicinal properties with natural calming and soothing effects, which can be effective for irritable, angry, very young children; while German chamomile is effective in curing inflammation and skin irritation on adults.
Chamomile has often been used for insomnia in both children and adults. According to a medical article called Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Benefits & Uses, written by nutrition counselor at certified health coach, Christine Ruggeri, chamomile, combined with lavender, becomes more effective for colic in babies.
Is Aceite de Manzanilla oil effective?
Aceite de Manzanilla and its “healing powers” is not a myth. It is the most natural essential oil that is effective and safe for babies and children.
Some important facts about this oil:
- When used as topical oil that is massaged and rubbed gently on the skin (about 2 to 4 drops, particularly the back and the baby’s tummy), chamomile has calming and soothing effects that relieve stomach pain, gas, and other digestive problems, including some skin conditions and inflammation.
A study published in2013 titled Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains that chamomile and citronella oils in manzanilla can also help in anxiety and depression. According to the study, these essential oils can calm the nerves and lower anxiety levels, even in babies. When applied on the skin, the baby can inhale and smell the oil, and the brain directly receives the signals, and there is immediate emotional trigger to calm down.
- Chamomile in manzanilla oil contains antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, that can effectively flush out phlegm and decongest the chest and airway.
- Chamomile in manzanilla oil can also calm crying and cranky babies, especially if the cause for crying is stomach pain. It also helps lower high-grade fever.
- For a good night’s sleep, you only need to apply 2 drops of manzanilla onto the baby’s temple. For older children and adults, you can gently rub up to 4 drops on the temple for a cooling effect, immediate relaxation and help in staying asleep.
- Warning: For babies with G6PD, doctors advice against using any mentholated oil or product, and this includes manzanilla. Consult your doctor first before using anything on your baby with G6PD.
SOURCES: MayoClinic, MedineHealth, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2013), Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Benefits & Uses by Christine Ruggeri, CHHC
Also read: May Colic si baby: Mga dapat malaman ni mommy at daddy
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Essential oil use for children: A safety guide for parents
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