Belladonna. It sounds like the name of a fancy Italian restaurant where you would order an expensive 5 star meal. The flowers are absolutely stunning. It looks harmless enough. But what is it, really?
Belladonna translated actually means, ‘beautiful lady,’ and is a plant which is used to create medicines for different ailments. A long time ago in Italy, women used to drink Belladonna berry juice to give their pupils an enlarged, more beautiful appearance — but this would prove to be a dire mistake, as Belladonna can be poisonous, and the toxicity levels for this drug are very low.
So, why am I writing about it today? What on earth would this toxic plant be doing around anything that was used for children, let alone babies?
Teething tablets, that’s what. Yes, Belladonna, also known as Deadly Nightshade, is in your babies teething tablets.
The FDA is now warning parents to discontinue using teething tablets, commonly marketed under the brand name Hylands, due to the fact that they may be causing seizures in babies. That’s a pretty scary trade for some teething relief. Hylands brand uses Belladonna in their product for teething babies. Hylands has been making their teething tablets for a little over 100 years, and in recent years, they have gained in popularity due to their natural and homeopathic ingredients. With the natural, ‘crunchy’ movement came a slew of moms looking for something natural to aid their teething babies in any way possible. I’ll admit – even I used this product for all four of my older children, which is why this came as a shock to me. I thought I was doing something good for my babies by using an all natural teething tablet. Boy, was I wrong. But, who knew?
Now that I have another tiny guy in the house who is going through full blown teething at 7 months, I have not ever used any teething tablets or gels for him, only Tylenol twice for his teething. I resort to using other methods of pain relief for him, such as frozen washcloths with water, or frozen breast milk and fruit ‘pops’ that I make him to put into his mesh feeder, or even frozen or cool teething toys or rings. I had heard some information a few months ago about Orajel posing a choking risk to babies because it completely numbs their mouth and makes it hazardous for them to swallow or drink, and I swore the product off at that point in time. I’m glad I made that decision, because it seems like it’s the best thing I could have done at this point.
Have you used teething tablets with your little one? How about Orajel? What are your thoughts on the new recommendation? I’d love to hear what you have to say in a comment below.