Context: Due to the dissatisfaction with the conventional therapeutic methods to control the infantile colic, the mothers are developing interest in herbal medicines.
Objectives: The present study is a systematic review with meta-analysis which was conducted to evaluate the effect of herbal medicines in the treatment of infantile colic.
Data Sources: A systematic electronic search was performed on the databases of the MEDLINE, Scopus and the Cochrane Central Register Trials inception up to July ۲۰۱۸ to assess the effectiveness of herbal medicines in the treatment of infantile colic. No determined limitation was considered and the measured outcome was the duration of crying time.
Study Selection: Six studies assessed the effect of herbal medicine on colic infantile
Data Extraction: The data extraction and quality assessment of the trials were performed by two separate individuals based on standardized predefined checklist.
Results: Five studies investigated the effect of prepared herbal medicines containing phytoestrogens on the infantile colic, the colic improvement score, and the number of night waking times. The compounds containing phytoestrogens decreased the duration of crying time compared to placebo (SMD=-۰.۵۳۶; ۹۵% CI=-۰.۸۴۸ to ۰.۲۲۴; P=۰.۰۰۱). Heterogeneity was moderate but not statistically significant (I۲=۵۶%; P=۰.۰۷). Moreover, one study measured the colic improvement score and the number of night wakings whose results showed a significant decrease in the parameters. To sum up, the phytoestrogens could significantly improve the infantile colic. Four trials studied the effect of compounds containing fennel, as their results indicated a significant improvement in the duration of crying time compared to control group (SMD=O.۷۱۲; ۹۵% CI=-۱.۰۰۵ to ۰.۴۲۰; P<۰.۰۰۱). Heterogeneity was ۰% among the studies. The SMD of compounds containing fennel alone reduced the duration of crying time to less than -۰.۶ (۹۵% CI= -۰.۹۴۰ to -۰.۴۵۶; P<۰.۰۰۱). Heterogeneity was moderate but not statistically significant (I۲=۰%; P=۰.۶۶۹).
Conclusions: Fennel and compounds containing phytoestrogens had a significant positive effect on the duration of crying time. Mentha piperita was shown to possess higher efficacy than simethicone in reducing daily colic duration. Further trials should be conducted with larger sample size and longer treatment duration.