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The issue of herbal teas was actually taken up in a 1993 J of Peds article
(122:650-2) where they actually treid to do a randomized double-blind
control study.  I thought it was actually a decent article.  It relied on
parent reporting of colic symptoms in a diary to measure its outcomes,
but on the whole, the design was about as good as I think one could get
in this particular circumstance.  They found the tea helpful and found
significant reductions in colic symptom reporting over placebo infants.
 
They also used what I consider to be pretty high doses....up to 5 ounces
per serving up to three times per day.  The tea used was a commercial
preparation with chamomille, vervain and licorice.   Given its relatively
ingrained use among many parents and the interesting, though
unreproduced, lone study of herbal tea, I think it is worth advocating with
the requisite admonitions to limit the total dose (I think 150cc per dose is
excessive and could easily be abused in situations where the child is
crankier, the parents less tolerant, or the child less responsive) and to
avoid home-grown herbs or non-regulated perparations from specialty
stores/growers.  Deaths from pennyroil oil and alkaloid poisonings have
been reported when dangerous herbs were mistaken for harmless ones.
 
Dave Smith
Children's of Akron
 
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