Mrs Khanna is up and about these days since her son and his family are visiting her from
overseas. We are all gearing up for a celebration at Mrs. Khannaʼs residence on the
weekend. The changing weather is my concern, everyone has been complaining about
how all the kids have been falling sick.
As I am engrossed in my thoughts, my door bell rings. Its Neha, looking fatigued. ʻAunty
Rao, I have had a sleepless night because Rishi has been coughing the whole night. He
has a congested chest, I came here looking for vicks vaporub?ʼ Neha asked.
ʻIʼll give you an alternativeʼ I told her, and asked her to come with me to the kitchen. I
heated some mustard oil, fried some crushed garlic and ajwain seeds in it and once it was
cool, I put it in an air tight container and gave it to Neha and told her to apply on Rishiʼs
chest, back, head and feet. This usually helps to melt down the cough and gives warmth to
ʻAunty, my sister is here for a few days and she has a 6 month old colicky baby girl. Please
give me some remedy for curing colic because its hard to see the little one cryʼ, Neha
asked as she advanced towards the door.
ʻWell, there are a number of things that you can do to soothe a colicky baby and you will
have to keep on trying to figure out which one works best for your child. One is to make
the baby exercise. Bend both her legs together gently on to her tummy and move them
into circular motion. This usually puts pressure on the stomach and releases the gas. A
very simple remedy is to feed the baby warm water a few times a day. The quantity should
be 3-4 sips at a time. Make sure the water is warm and not hot. Warm water usually helps
to make the intestines free of gas patches. If you add a tiny quantity of hing to the warm
water, even better. Applying hing mixed with warm water near the navel area also releases
the gas. But the intake of warm water with hing gives results a lot quicker.ʼ I informed
As Neha left, I decided to go downstairs to get some curry leaves for my curry preparation
from the potted herb garden that we all had planted in one corner of the building. I usually
do the upkeep of this garden which has a number of herbs that all the ladies of the building
ʻHello Auntyʼ said Bela as I reached the herb garden.
ʻHello Bela, how is Tarun feeling now? Is he relieved from his constipation?ʼ I asked since I
was reminded of the ordeal Bela had faced last month when her 8 year old son suffered
from frequent constipation bouts.
ʻOh yes Aunty, I started giving him the dried grapes juice every morning and he is very
regular now with his bowel movements. Infact, he himself soaks 4-5 dried grapes every
night and then squeezes them in the morning. He is feeling much more energetic now.
Thanks Aunty for this remedyʼ said Bela. I was glad this had helped.
ʻAunty, do you know that Mrs Khannaʼs grandson is suffering from diarrhea. The whole
family is worried about his health and the upcoming event,ʼ informed Bela. ʻOh is that so,ʼ I
said feeling sorry for Mrs Khanna who has been so excited about her grandsonʼs first
birthday celebration in the compound.
Having finished my gardening bit, I decided to go to Mrs Khannaʼs residence to find out
how things are. ʻAah, welcome Mrs Rao, I am so glad to see youʼ said Mrs Khanna looking
tired and worried.
ʻI came to know about little Parthʼs ill-health. How is he now?ʼ I asked her.
ʻHe started diarrhea last night and we have been giving him lots of fluids but it looks like
we will have to take him to the pediatricianʼ, informed Mrs. Khanna.
ʻOh so sorry to hear that, can I suggest something before you take him to the doctorʼ, I
ʻYes, why not Mrs Rao, the home remedies are usually safer than the medicinesʼ said Mrs
I was pretty sure that the baby was just reacting to the change in place and water and
restoring his flora would do the trick. I went to her kitchen, and boiled some milk, and
added a few drops of lemon juice to it so that the milk curdles. The water without the milk
solids is called ʻwheyʼ and has a generous amount of lactobacillus. The prime reason of
diarrhea in babies is altered flora with the change of place or water, and whey helps to
restore normal flora. It is also a good source of potassium and calcium which helps to bind
ʻPlease keep giving 3-4 spoonfuls of whey to the baby frequently and it should help him to
control his loose tummy. Another remedy that you can use is feeding him a cooked apple.
Cook the apple without skin and seeds, add a little bit of ghee and a small pinch of ginger.
Mix this and feed him. It will bind the stool and will give him relief.ʼ I told Mrs. Khannaʼs
daughter in law, Kriti.
The weekend was approaching and I sincerely hoped that little Parth would be able to
enjoy his first birthday party with his extended family. As the saturday evening approached
and all of us gathered in the common area for the celebrations, it was a wonderful relief to
see Khannas bubbly and enthusiastic. Little Parth was his usual chirpy self but had
seemed to lost a bit of weight.
ʻThanks Aunty Rao, ʻwheyʼ really helped Parth to control his diarrhea, although he seems
to have lost a little weight, I am glad his fluids and flora were easily restored and he is
feeling much betterʼ said Kriti with a relieved and smiling countenance.
Watching little Parth enjoy all the attention, I thought, a happy baby has a unique quality, a
quality of making everyone happy around him. Their pure smiles have tremendous power
to make others smile and to help them restore their smiles is a huge satisfaction.