How to Make An Herbal Teething Remedy

Teething is a difficult stage for most babies and parents to go through. The drooling, incessant gnawing on everything, and the fussiness that seems to last for days. Depending on your child, you may have all or just a couple of these symptoms. 

As a mom, it is incredible difficult to see our little ones so uncomfortable and not able to do much about it. This is why I created this teething remedy to ease the pain of teething and calm down the nervous system, without all the chemicals and synthetic preservatives you find in most store bought remedies.

It has worked very well for both of my little ones, and I hope it is the answer to your teething problems as well. There are lots of options when it comes to teething, but most of them require something cold to numb the gums. This is a great concept, but for some crazy reason, neither of my boys care for anything that is cold, so this is the only thing that has helped calm my little ones.

The Herbs

1. Chamomile

Chamomile is a sedative herb that helps relax the muscles as well as anodyne which helps soothe and relieve pain. It is a gentle herb and great tasting as well, so it is definitely a favorite with children. 

The number one reason I use Chamomile apart from the amazing stuff above is its ability to relieve inflammation. We all know that this is definitely a must to relieve those red, puffy gums! 

2. Catnip

Catnip is also known as catmint, field balm, or cat's wort. It is known as a calmitive herb which means it has a mild sedative or tranquilizing effect. It is also an anodyne like Chamomile and soothes and relieves pain. Catnip is primarily used to treat stomach issues, soothe headaches, and reduce fevers. 

I really like the addition of Catnip to my teething tincture because it helps if your little one does run a teething fever, and it also helps in the event that your little one get's diarrhea when teething. You can definitely make the tincture without the addition of Catnip, but I think it just makes it an all around teething remedy for all babies.

My oldest son always ran a fever when teething and had loose stools, so the Catnip helped provide the extra measure of relief he needed.

Method

I am going to outline the basic recipe that I use as well as give you several different variations of ways to use it. My preferred method for children in most any type of herbal remedy is a glycerin tincture.

I prefer the tincture method because it takes just a few drops to get the desired effect compared to other methods. Here are the methods that we will talk about:

1. Tincture

2. Tea 

3. Popsicles

Tincture

A tincture by definition is a strong liquid extract that is made when you soak herbs in a liquid medium such as 80-100 proof Vodka, apple cider vinegar, or vegetable glycerin. Because a tincture is liquid it is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly and therefore able to take immediate effect. 

For all of my tinctures that are primarily for children, I prefer to use glycerin. It have a sweet and addicting taste to children. It has no honey, so I do not need to worry about how old the child is, and it has no alcohol, so I am not concerned about my child getting too much alcohol. Although, giving your little one an alcohol tincture, they are getting very little alcohol. 

The problem comes for me, when I am using more than one tincture at a given time. For example during cold and flu season, I may already be giving my little one an Elderberry tincture, and an immunity tincture several times a day on top of a teething tincture. Instead of trying to keep track of this and adding up the alcohol percentages, I just stick to using glycerin. 

Upon doing some research for this post, I came across several articles speaking to the fact of not using glycerin in formulas used for teeth. It was stated that using glycerin can prevent the remineralization of teeth. After reading lots of articles, I was able to track this theory down to one scientist named Dr. Judd. As far as I have studied, he is the founder of theory and there have been no studies to test this theory. 

On the contrary, I have found several dentist that have written pretty good articles explaining why this theory is not true. You can read this article by Dr. Schau and this article. 

So in light of this information, you can choose whether you would prefer to use a glycerin tincture or a straight alcohol tincture. 

 

The Recipe

Straight Glycerin Tincture

  • 2 ounces of Chamomile Flowers
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Catnip
  • 11 ounces of water
  • 16 ounces of Glycerin

Combine Chamomile and Catnip in a 32 ounce dark amber jar. In a separate bowl, mix the water and glycerin. Then pour the water/ glycerin mixture over your herbs. Seal the jar tightly with a lid and shake until mixed well. Store in a dark place for two weeks, shaking at least once a day. 

At the end of two weeks, strain your mixture, discarding the herbs, label, store in a dark glass bottle. A glycerin tincture will last in between 2-5 years. 

Alcohol Tincture

  • 2 ounces of Chamomile
  • 1  ounce of Catnip
  • 16 ounces of Vodka

Combine Chamomile, Catnip, and Vodka into a 24 ounce dark amber glass jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake until it is combined. Store in a dark, dry place for two weeks shaking every day. 

At the end of two weeks, strain your mixture, label, and store in a dark bottle. An alcohol tincture will last anywhere in between 3-5 years. 

Glycerin/ Alcohol Tincture

  • 2 ounces of Chamomile Flowers
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Catnip
  • 16 ounces of Vegetable Glycerin
  • 9 ounces of water
  • 3 ounces of Vodka 

Combine Chamomile and Catnip into a 32 ounce dark amber glass bottle. In a separate bowl, mix together glycerin, water, and Vodka. Pour your liquid mixture over your herbs. Seal jar with lid and shake to combine. Store in a dark, dry place for two weeks.

After two weeks, strain your herbs from your liquid. Discard the herbs and place strained tincture into a dark glass bottle. Label your tincture and use. :) It will last on the shelf anywhere in between 2-5 years. 

A note on the tinctures:

  1. Make sure to always use 100% Vegetable Glycerin that is food grade. I typically purchase mine from Amazon by the gallon. 
  2. For my teething tincture, I used the Glycerin/ Alcohol tincture because it has a very minuscule amount of alcohol. The alcohol also helps to calm your little one down and decrease the inflammation as well. 

Tincture Dosage:

Adult dose: 2 droppers full or 60 drops

0-3 months- 2 drops rubbed on the gums

6-12 months- 3 drops rubbed on the gums

1-2 years- 5 drops rubbed on the gums

Other methods to determine dosage are these:

Young's Rule - Add 12 to the child's age. Divide the child's age by this total. Example: dosage for a 4 year old: 4 divided by 16 (4+12) = .25, or 1/4 of the adult dosage.

Cowling's Rule - Divide the number of the child's next birthday by 24. Example: dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 would be: 4 divided by 24 = .16, or 1/6 of the adult dosage. ( information taken from this site)

 

Tea

If you do not have a Chamomile tincture on hand, making a Chamomile tea is pretty straight forward and quick. To make just one cup of tea, combine 1 teaspoon of Chamomile and 1 teaspoon of Catnip into a coffee mug. Then pour 8 ounces of hot water and let it steep for 8 minutes. Once you have made this simple tea, you can use it several ways. 

  1. Let it cool down and put it in your little one's cup or bottle. Depending on the age, you can add a little bit of honey to sweeten. 
  2. Take a clean washcloth and dip it into the tea. Place the washcloth in the freezer for thirty minutes or so, and then let your little one gnaw on it.
  3. Dip a teething necklace into your tea and freeze. Not only will the cold help to numb the gums, it will also impart the healing effect of the tea and bring relief. 

Popsicles

If your little one loves cold things, this may be the method for you! Here is what you need: 

  • Ice tray
  • Chamomile tea
  • Pacifiers

or 

Popsicle mold if your child is older

Place prepared tea in an ice tray or Popsicle mold. If using an ice tray, then place the pacifier, nipple side down into the tea. Place in the freezer until solid. You can then give the pacifier with the frozen block of tea to your little one to gnaw on. If you have an older child, they would probably prefer the Popsicle. :)

Conclusion

If you do not have Chamomile on hand, you can easily purchase Chamomile tea bags at your local grocery store or even Walmart. The brand that I love and trust because of their high quality standards is Traditional Medicinals. You can find them pretty much anywhere. 

You can also purchase the Traditional Medicinals Tea to make just a straight tincture as well. It will take roughly 3 boxes of tea to make the amount for the tincture recipe listed above. 

I hope that this gives you more ideas and helpful solutions to helping your little one during the difficult seasons of teething.