Being a mother I totally understand how difficult it is when your little one starts teething. It can be very distressing to see your little one in so much pain! I remember feeling completely helpless and wished that I could take the pain away, not to mention the sleepless nights that follow… (I was on autopilot for the next year!)

So the very next day I went on a BIG TEETHING SHOPPING SPREE!                  

  • Teething toys
  • Teething gels
  • Teething granules
  • Children’s medicines

You name it, I tried it… anything to provide some sort of comfort or pain relief for my little one.

Although I used all of these methods (not all at the same time!) usually a combination of them i.e. teething toy and teething gel, I still wanted to do more. So I turned my attention to spices.

Being from Indian origin meant that I already cooked with spices, but spices can be used for more than adding flavour to meals, they have also been used for their medicinal properties for generations, and many of them have been proven to contain natural analgesic properties to help combat pain.

After a period of months researching aromatic spices and their natural health benefits, I began to understand which spices would be of most benefit to my little one, and began including various combinations within my little one’s meals in the hope that they would provide an extra little boost of pain relief (in addition to the traditional methods I had spent a fortune on). Every little helps right?!

So here are my Top 5 Spices to Combat Teething Pains:

  1. Cloves – dried flower buds of a tropical tree. They contain the compound ‘eugenol’, a powerful oil widely used within dentistry for natural oral pain relief. It is also used to add flavour to sweet and savoury cuisines worldwide.
  2. Nutmeg – another spice which contains the oil eugenol. It offers a warm and spicy taste to meals and compliments both sweet and savoury dishes.
  3. Cardamom – a flavourful spice commonly used within Indian cookery. Its analgesic properties can help to reduce pain in teeth and gums. It is also believed to cleanse the mouth for good oral hygiene. 
  4. Cinnamon – A warm, fragrant spice with a hint of sweetness. Great for cooking with, baking with or sprinkling onto fruit – apples and bananas. Contains a natural analgesic property to soothe pains.
  5. Black Pepper – a common seasoning found in virtually every household. It too contains analgesic properties to help relieve pain in teeth and gums, and is believed to promote strong teeth.

By Zainab Jagot Ahmed

Author of Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook – the UK’s FIRST Indian baby food cookbook. Available to buy now from Waterstones.com and Autharium.com. From just £3.99

www.ZainabJagotAhmed.com 
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Note: None of the above spices should be applied directly to soft oral tissue; they should all be used within cooking. Spices are suitable for babies from 7 months onwards. A comprehensive list of resources, references and links can be found within ‘Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook’ to support the various statements about spices and their health benefits.