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It’s disheartening to see your baby cry and writhe in agony due to colic pain. Mothers often don’t know what to do but what if we told you that the remedy lies in your kitchen? Hing, an Indian superfood is popular for its colon cleansing properties. Used as a kitchen staple for dishes, it is often touted as ‘The Food of the Gods’ and hailed as a natural remedy for stomach aches and colic relief.
Let’s explore its benefits and what it offers to your little one.
Is Asafoetida Safe for Infants?
Hing is suitable for babies but not through oral use. It is best applied as a paste for massaging or rubbing the tummy. Babies below the age of 8 months should not be fed hing, even with lukewarm water, due to their underdeveloped immune systems.
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. You can use hing as part of the baby’s food by adding a very small pinch of it in lukewarm milk or using it in lentil-based soups and recipes as a spice.
Hing – Uses and Benefits for Babies
Time to talk about its benefits. Here’s what your little one gets with the goodness of hing.
1. Cures Stomach Aches
If you’re picky about using pharmaceutical drugs or popping pills in your baby’s mouth, try applying a pinch of hing on your baby’s stomach. Stomach aches make your baby cry uncontrollably due to the pain, and hing is known to possess potent antibacterial properties which can regulate the imbalances in the stomach lining.
2. Improves Oral Health
There are millions of microorganisms floating around which may enter your child’s digestive tract and be hazardous to his oral health. Hing’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties treat toothaches, cavities, prevent bleeding gums, and also bad breath.
3. Promotes Proper Digestion
Hing promotes proper digestion. Consistent bowel movements mean a healthy digestive system and to give your little one’s a kickstart, apply some hing paste a bit away from the centre of the navel area. Mix a pinch of hing in ghee or simply blend with lukewarm water and apply for best results. You can use hing for constipation in babies as an effective treatment.
4. Improves Appetite
Hing is a grounding herb and according to ancient Ayurveda, is known to balance a hyperactive digestive system. It contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, leading to the cleansing of intestinal flora and removing stagnation blocks from the digestive tracks. Its soothing effect on the stomach lining promotes appetite, reduces spasms, and assists with eliminating 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 pain relief, it won’t work as a one-stop cure if the colic ache is at a severe stage. Do take your baby to a paediatrician or medical professional for an in-depth checkup.
6. Works As a Natural Enzyme
There are thousands of enzyme supplements in the market, but Hippocrates once said ‘Let food be thy medicine’. Stir in a pinch of hing to your dishes or use it as a spice on cooking recipes. Hing is one of those superfoods that is effective in small doses.
7. Boosts Immunity
Low immunity is a problem faced by growing infants. The immune systems of babies are susceptible to viruses and infections since they’re in developing states. Hing is known to possess antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, making it a must-have in your baby’s daily diet. Scientific studies have shown Hing to possess immunity against the ‘H1N1 virus’ which gives it more brownie points.
Making hing paste is easy – just stir in a teaspoon of hing in warm water and voila! You have your paste! If you don’t want to use hing water for babies, you could use olive oil, ghee, or mustard oil to make the paste and achieve the same results. For babies above 8 months old, you can even try stirring in hing with buttermilk and serving warm.
Don’t feed hing for the baby’s gas troubles if your little one is below 8 months old. Just massage the tummy area gently in a clockwise manner, while making sure to avoid the centre of the navel. After applying hing on baby’s stomach, simply let it dry. Once it dries out, it’s time to make your baby start burping for that instant stomach pain or cough relief. After that, just wipe the applied area using a wet washcloth.
For babies above 8 months old, you can use hing paste in dishes or mix in hing with soups, salads, purees, lentil-based dishes, and other recipes or beverages.
Important Points to Consider While Using Hing for Baby
Here are some precautions and factors to consider before giving hing to your baby:
- If your baby starts crying after using this remedy, call a doctor or visit your paediatrician immediately.
- Always make sure to mix hing with lukewarm water, ghee, and milk, and not add more than a teaspoon in dishes.
- Use a wet cotton ball to cover the centre of the navel area and make sure you don’t apply the paste there.
- For babies below 8 months old, do not let them eat, chew, swallow, or gulp down hing directly. Their digestive systems are underdeveloped during this stage and not capable of processing hing.
- 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.
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 above 8 months old or even 10 years old and above, you can use hing as a natural protection against colic, stomach gas, and other digestion related problems.