Gripe water is recommended by some pediatricians and alternative practitioners as a natural treatment option. It is available in the US as an over-the-counter FDA regulated medicine as well as in various dietary supplement forms. Although many parents report positive results using gripe water no formal clinical studies have confirmed its efficacy.
Various remedies to fix minor upset stomachs in babies have been around for centuries in different cultures, but the first "gripe water" was formulated in England in 1851 and used by English nannies. The original Woodward's Gripe Water contained 3.6% alcohol, dill oil, sodium bicarbonate, sugar and water. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration ordered an automatic detention of all shipments of Woodward's into the U.S. on the basis of it being an unapproved drug. Woodward's has since been marketed online as a supplement although a 2000 review in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found that most of the ingredients in Woodward's gripe water are of questionable value in relieving infantile discomfort, and that getting a fussy baby to stop crying may be no more complicated than giving it some sweet-tasting liquid.