Chamomile, Fennel, and Lemon Balm in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to investigate the effectiveness and side effects of a phytotherapeutic agent with Matricariae recutita (Chamomile), Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), and Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) in the treatment of infantile colic.

The daily average crying time for the treatment group was 201.2 minutes per day (SD 18.3) at the baseline and 76.9 minutes per day (SD 23.5) at the end of the study; for the placebo it was 198.7 minutes per day (SD 16.9) and 169.9 minutes per day (SD 23.1) (p < 0.005). Crying time reduction was observed in 85.4% subjects for the treatment group and in 48.9% subjects for the placebo (p < 0.005). No side effects were reported.

Conclusion: This study shows that colic in breastfed infant improved within 1 week of treatment with an extract based on Chamomile, Fennel, and Lemon Balm.

My comment: Very promising results. Could Chamomile, Fennel, and Lemon Balm show benefit in children and adults with bloating, distension, and other digestive issues? I have been using these herbs, plus others (such as Turmeric and Milk Thistle), for the management of digestive conditions since the beginning of my career.

Savino F et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants. Phytother Res. 2005 Apr; 19(4): 335-40.