You might be willing to do almost anything to relieve your baby the pain of teething. Modern-day remedies for teething include topical anesthetics and anti-inflammatories, but you may be uncomfortable putting all these chemicals into your little one’s mouth. Hundreds of natural remedies for teething exist, but little scientific evidence supports them as an absolute cure-all for the pain and fussiness associated with getting new teeth. A little known, but potentially helpful, remedy for teething babies involves boiling lettuce and using the warm -- not hot -- or cooled liquid as a bath or a tea. Although no guarantees exist that boiled lettuce will alleviate teething discomfort, it is a harmless treatment that may be worth a try.
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Certain properties in lettuce supposedly help induce sleep and relaxation. Many folk medicine remedies utilize lettuce to reduce pain and induce sleep. A pilot study published in the June 2011 issue of the “International Journal of General Medicine” confirmed that the oil of garden lettuce may be a useful sleeping aid that is hazard free for adults. The study also noted that lettuce oil exhibits anti-inflammatory activities. When you boil lettuce, some of the oils seep into the water, creating a mild lettuce water solution that may contain some of these sleep-inducing and anti-inflammatory properties. No research confirms this to be the case, however.
No studies have explored the relationship between babies, boiled lettuce and reduced teething pain. Some cultures, however, recommend boiling leaves of lettuce – usually iceberg – in water until the solution turns green. You then cool the water and use it as a relaxing baby bath or as a tea for your baby to drink. These treatments are said to reduce fussiness associated with colic or teething and promote healthy sleep.
While no evidence that boiled lettuce cures teething pain exists, the method might be worth a try – especially if you have exhausted other options. Boiled lettuce is natural and likely to do no harm. However, you should check with your physician before trying any treatment on your child. Lettuce water contains minimal nutrients, but will have trace amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K along with folic acid, some B vitamins and antioxidants. If your child is eating solid food, the lettuce water will not fulfill his vegetable nutrition needs.
You might use boiled-lettuce baths or tea in conjunction with other homeopathic treatments for teething. Your baby’s teething pain may be alleviated by his gumming frozen chunks of fruit, a frozen washcloth or a frozen bagel. You can also dip your finger in the boiled lettuce water and massage his gums to help bring relief.