Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Woodwards Gripe Water

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Gripe Water was discovered accidentally by William Woodward, an American who was working in England.

1840s Babies in Eastern England were afflicted by a condition known as "fen fever", and during that time there was also an outbreak of malaria in England. Woodward took his inspiration from the manner in which malaria as well as "fen fever" was being treated and noted that the formula used to treat fen fever was also an effective "soother of fretful babies and provided relief from gastrointestinal troubles in infants." The original Woodward's Gripe Water contained 3.6% alcohol, dill oil, sodium bicarbonate, sugar and water.

1876 Woodword registered Gripe Water as a trademark. It was initially marketed with the slogan "Granny told mother and mother told me."

1912 William Woodward died and his son William Harrison Woodward took over the business.

1993 The United States 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.

2008 Woodward's Gripe Water is the worlds favourite remedy for babies colic and still contains dill seed oil as its main ingredient.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5