Hing for Babies – Benefits and Precautionary Tips
It’s disheartening to see your baby cry and writhe in agony due to colic pain. Mothers often don’t know what to do, because the baby is too young to communicate what he is feeling. What if we told you that the remedy lies in your kitchen? Hing, or asafoetida, is an Indian superfood that is popular for its colon cleansing properties. Used as a kitchen staple in Indian dishes, it is often touted as ‘The Food of the Gods’ and hailed as a natural remedy for stomach aches and colic relief. Hing for babies with colic is a time-tested remedy that offers relief and lets the baby rest at night.Let’s explore its benefits and what it offers to your little one.
Is Hing Safe for Infants?
Hing is safe for infants, but not orally as their digestive system is very weak. Since this spice has a strong taste it is best applied as a paste, gently massaged or rubbed on your little one’s tummy, but only around the navel. Remember that babies below the age of 10 months should not be fed hing, even with lukewarm water, due to their underdeveloped immune system. It may also cause blood disorders in young ones.
When and How to Introduce Hing in Your Baby’s Diet?
Home experts recommend adding hing to your baby’s diet after he crosses 10 months of age. Don’t feed it to your baby if he is under 10 months old, and has been experiencing gas. Gently massage the tummy area in a clockwise manner, with a paste made of hing, around the navel, and let it stay for a bit. Once it dries, it’s time to make your baby start burping to relieve stomach pain instantly. After that, just wipe the stomach area using a wet washcloth. You may also give a warm water bath to your baby after a few hours or before putting him to sleep.
Hing – Uses and Benefits for Babies
It’s time to talk about asafoetida benefits for babies. Here’s what your little one gets with the goodness of hing.
1. Cures Stomach Aches
If you’re picky about administering pharmaceutical drugs to your baby, try applying a paste of warm water and hing on his stomach. Stomach aches make your baby cry uncontrollably, and hing is known to possess potent anti-bacterial properties which can regulate the imbalances in the stomach lining. It may provide relief from gas and acidity.
2. Improves Oral Health
There are millions of microorganisms that may enter your child’s mouth, and be hazardous to his oral health. Hing’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties can help treat toothaches, cavities, and also prevent bleeding gums and bad breath.
3. Promotes Proper Digestion
Hing promotes proper digestion. Consistent bowel movements mean a healthy digestive system, and to give your little one a kickstart, apply some asafoetida paste around the navel area. This home remedy can also help treat constipation in babies.
4. Improves Appetite
Hing is a grounding herb, and according to ancient Ayurveda, it is known to balance a hyperactive digestive system. It contains anti-oxidising and anti-inflammatory properties that cleanse intestinal flora and remove stagnant food from the digestive tract. Its soothing effect on the stomach lining promotes appetite, reduces spasms, and assists in eliminating abdominal distention.
5. Treats Colic Aches
Colic aches are best treated by using hing in the initial or mild stages. Try applying some hing paste and massaging the belly. Although it will provide relief from the pain, it won’t work as an immediate cure if the colic ache is at a severe stage, in which case, you need to take your baby to a paediatrician for a thorough check-up.
6. Works As a Natural Enzyme
There are thousands of enzyme supplements available in the market, but why not let food be your medicine, just the way the Greek physician, Hippocrates II once said? Add a pinch of hing along with the other spices to your dishes and let the superfood work its magic.
7. Boosts Immunity
Low immunity is a major health issue in infants. Their immune systems are susceptible to viruses and infections since they are in their developing state. Hing is known to possess anti-bacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, making it a must-have in your baby’s daily diet.
8. Remedy for Cold, Cough, Asthma, and Pneumonia
The spice can also be used to soothe cough in babies. A warm paste of hing and water can be applied on the baby’s chest for some relief from cold and cough. For older babies, it can also be used as a remedy for asthma, pneumonia, and whooping cough. A little bit of the spice can be added to hot water, and the vapours can be inhaled by those suffering from respiratory issues. Hing has been an important ingredient in Yunani and Ayurvedic medicines. It is, therefore, also used for wholesome healing by applying it externally and consuming it in foods.
Now you know how hing can benefit your little one. But, have you been wondering how to make hing paste? Here’s how you can make some.
How to Make Hing Paste?
Making hing paste for babies is easy – just stir in a teaspoon of the spice in warm water and voila! You have your paste! You can use olive oil, ghee, or mustard oil also to make the paste and achieve the same results. For babies above 10 months of age, you can even try stirring some hing in buttermilk and feeding it to your baby.
How To Use Hing (Asafoetida) To Cure Dry Cough In Babies?
Cough, cold, and general flu symptoms are a source of distress for both babies and their parents. Here is how to use hing for babies to relieve dry cough so they can rest comfortably.
1. Warm Water and Hing
Make a paste of warm water and hing and apply it to your baby’s chest, rubbing in a circular motion. This will help provide some relief from chest congestion.
2. Oil and Hing
Mix mustard, coconut, or olive oil with hing to make a paste, and massage it on your baby’s chest and back to relieve dry cough. Let it stay for sometime and wipe it off once dry.
3. Warm Vapour With Hing
Add a pinch of hing in a steam apparatus and let your baby inhale the warm vapours for relief from chest congestion and stuffy nose. This method is only safe if your baby is above 10 months old. Moreover, make sure you take safety precautions to avoid any accidents.
4. Honey With Hing
If your baby is above one year of age, you can mix a pinch of hing in one spoon of honey and feed it to him. This will help relieve sore throat and cough.
Although hing is considered a magical spice, it is essential for parents to be aware of certain things. The points given below will help you take the right precautions when using hing as a remedy for your baby’s ailments.
Important Points to Consider While Using Hing for Your Baby
Here are some precautions and factors to consider before giving hing to your baby:
- If your baby starts crying after using a hing-based remedy, call a doctor or visit your paediatrician immediately.
- Always mix hing with lukewarm water, ghee, and milk, and do not add more than a pinch in your baby’s meals.
- Use a wet cotton ball to cover the centre of the navel area and make sure you don’t apply the paste there, especially when the umbilical cord hasn’t dried and fallen off.
- For babies below 10 months of age, do not let them eat, chew, swallow, or gulp down hing directly. Their digestive systems are underdeveloped during this stage and not capable of digesting the spice.
- Do not give your baby hing if he is under any blood thinners or blood pressure medications, and consult your doctor for alternative remedies instead.
- If you are breastfeeding and consume hing regularly, keep an eye out for digestion issues post feeds, especially if your baby is under 10 months of age. Avoid consuming hing unless absolutely necessary.
- Hing is used as a natural remedy, which means it may take some time for visible results. Be patient, and contact your doctor if your baby needs immediate relief from distress.
1. Can You Apply Hing On a Baby’s Stomach Everyday?
Hing is a natural remedy for digestive issues in babies, which means you might need to apply it over a few days to see results. Make sure you only use a pinch of hing everyday. However, if you don’t see results after a prolonged period, it is best to consult a doctor to medically treat the issue at hand.
2. How Does Hing Work On Baby Stomach?
Hing has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help improve digestion in babies and provide relief from colic and other issues. It promotes proper digestion and ensures that there are no imbalances in your baby’s stomach lining. However, make sure you do not orally administer asafoetida for babies under 10 months of age.
Hing is nature’s cure when it comes to coughs, stomach aches, and colic aches. Although it’s not magic, hing works wonders when used long-term. If your baby is over 10 months old, you can use hing as natural protection against colic, stomach gas, and other digestion related problems.
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5. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182; Last updated: March 2023