Congenital Bilateral Perisylvian Syndrome

Polymicrogyria | A Family Story

Ginger… A Natural Cure for Drooling

Ginger Candy

Max has spent the better part of his life being on Robinul for drooling. Drooling is one of the unfortunate symptoms of Congenital Bilateral Perisylvian Syndrome, as well as many others with special needs and that are elderly. Robinul works well for Max, but he has to take it periodically throughout the day and it’s a medication – no mother wants their children to be on medication if they don’t have to be; not to mention, Max isn’t too keen on it either.

I was talking to a woman about natural remedies one day and she suggested that I research homeopathic methods to help dry up secretions. Needless to say, there was next to nothing on the web for natural remedies when it comes to drool. I tried every arrangement of keywords that I could think of, but continued to fail at finding a solution. I can’t remember what keyword finally worked, but I stumbled upon a shady looking website that wasn’t very impressive, to say the least.  On that website was a story from a woman who had written about her husband who was bound to a wheelchair and had no muscle function, thus he drooled. She had tried numerous natural remedies, and eventually found that ginger was the best at drying up saliva.

I thought, “Really, it can’t be that easy,” but it was my first hit on anything natural, so I drove to Vitamin Cottage and bought ginger candy and fresh ginger to try ginger tea. I figured I would try the ginger candy first with Max, but thought it might be too hot for him… ginger is kind of hot you know.

I explained to Max why I wanted him to take it and that if it worked, he wouldn’t have to take medicine anymore. On his first day he tried two ginger candies in the morning and it kind of worked. The next day I gave him three in the morning and three more at noon. Guess what… it worked – completely dry.

We’ve been doing ginger candy now for about a month and it’s still working. The price is cheaper than the medication and he actually likes it. And the best part… no more medication. He willingly takes the ginger candy and stays dry all day.

The Back Story

I can’t remember when Max hasn’t drooled. Babies always drool, but his never stopped. He was wearing bibs to keep him dry up until he was around 3 or 4. The only reason I stopped doing bibs was because of the snide comments that I would hear in public, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she still has a bib on that baby, he’s like 4!” It’s not that I was afraid to tell the people to shove it (and that’s putting it nicely), but I didn’t want to embarrass Max. We started Robinul somewhere around this time, but it’s hard to get a baby to swallow a pill, and even harder to make sure he takes it a couple of times a day. So, for the most part, we just dealt with the drool.

It’s stinky (drool that is). We were changing shirts 3 to 4 times a day, and taking baths nightly. We have tried using bandanas in place of bibs, and sweat-bands for the wrist (to wipe away drool as he got older), but nonetheless, it’s still embarrassing for Max.  But he’s strong and has an amazing gift to ignore the remarks he hears.

Kids say rude comments, but we know that kids are curious and want to know what’s going on.  However, it’s when adults say things that really irks me… “Yes, he knows that he’s drooling, thanks for reminding him!” I want to protect him as a mother, but he always tells me he’s fine. I think he’s the one trying to protect me sometimes.

Drool stinks. Drool sucks.

Ginger Rocks.

16 Comments

  1. Does ginger work the same way if taken by G Tube? I wonder if it has properties that work in the mouth or in the digestive system?

  2. @Ann, I’m not sure. I’d tell you to ask your doctor, but it took me forever to find this cure, so I’m not sure how much help they’d be. I can tell you this… I’m not familiar with G tubes, so I’d definitely research it, get your doctors opinion and talk to a local natural market, like the vitamin cottage, to get everyone’s feedback.

  3. What is the effect of swallowing all drool saliver in the mouth to avoid embrasement

  4. @Sulaiman, I would imagine that there wouldn’t be any effect on swallowing drool/saliva, as that is a normal bodily function.

    Of course, if the person has aspiration problems, I’d say to check with the doctor before making any final decisions; in fact, I’d check with the doctor period, before trying anything – even ginger.

  5. Thanks for your suggestion. Our son has moderate dysphagia in the best of times and is now on risperidal which causes drooling. Both of these together cause lots of gagging, throwing up, and general unhappiness on his and our part.

    I don’t know if I can get him to eat the candy, but he might take a capsule if I open it and mix it with apple sauce.

    Oh, and you are so right, very little info. about this on the internet.

  6. ashley dickey

    May 15, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Hello my son austin first off is a extroidinary person. He is 14 years old and deals with his disability like a champ, but one thing he has most trouble with is controlling his drooling. His right side of his muscles in his body are weak if not numb etc…He takes medicine for the drooling but doesn’t seem to really work anymore. …We live in a fairly small town, if we cannot find this candy or remedy at our local shop is there a website we can order it from?…Thank you!

  7. @Ashley, We’re from a small town too. We are able to find ginger chews in our local grocers, but I think it’s kind of rare. You can get it online though: http://reedsinc.com/product/reeds-original-ginger-chews/ (in plain or peanut butter). But Reed’s has a lot of ginger products that you could try, http://reedsinc.com/product-category/reeds-ginger-products/.

  8. Christine Hendricks

    June 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks Kasy for sharing your stories. I found this interesting. My Dad is 75 and he has Progressive Bulbar Palsy type of Motor Neurone Disease. He was diagnosed 12 months ago – prior to this he was a healthy very active farmer. Now his slurred speech is even hard for us as a family to understand ( he writes things down – not good with an Ipad), he has PEG feeds and eats some pureed foods or thickened liquids. He has been drooling a lot recently. I thought I would research natural therapies for this – as you say not much out there. But my google search found your BLOG. Unfortunately Dad wouldn’t be able to suck on a sweet. I was wondering like another if it could be taken another way (such as a gastric tube), or if it needed to be in the mouth to work???? Perhaps I will need to try to do a little more research myself. Unfortunately my Dad’s condition is terminal and he will get worse – but he’s had a good life. Drooling for a 10 year old child must be difficult. It’s great that the ginger works for Max. I think my Mum is more embarrassed for my Dad than he is (re the drooling).
    Thanks again for your blog and your openness of sharing your story…

  9. @Christine,

    In the research I’ve done garlic dries secretions because it is ingested in general, not necessarily through the mouth though. There are liquid versions of ginger (like ginger beer – and yes, it’s non-alcoholic), but again, I have to say that I’d chat with the physician prior to doing anything.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Kasy

  10. So glad to have run across this post. My little guy is 6 and we’ve done robinul, scopolamine patches, botox injections into the salivary glands and he has even had his Left submandibular gland removed last year. None of these have worked. The surgery was supposed to reduced the amount of salivary production by 30% but it really hasn’t been successful at all. We, nor the doctor, can really tell a difference. Right now, I don’t think my child always understand when he’s being made fun of but he does know when he’s being differentiated from everyone else which really bothers him. At our last visit the doctor was ready to schedule another surgery but we told him we weren’t really ready for that. Now that I’ve read about your son’s success using the ginger, I think we’d like to try that to see it it makes any difference. Thanks!

  11. My son is 22 years old and has cerebral Palsey. He has struggled since he was young with drooling. It’s very frustrating as a parent to do all you can as Autum has stated and it still doesn’t work. We have also tried Botox injections, scopolamine patches, have had one of his salivary glands tied off which in turn made it die so it couldn’t produce saliva any longer and we have also had one of glands rerouted to the back of his throat inan attempt for the saliva to go down his throat. As of right now we are back to the robinul which barely works anymore. None of these things have worked. I am excited about the ginger however my son cannot eat hard candy as he does not chew anything and his food needs to be cut up small. Can anyone tell me if the non alcoholic beer works or even any of the other ginger products that are listed in the link? I want to help him so much it’s hard to watch him suffer from embarrassment. Thanks Kasy for this information.

  12. I have been drooling constantly do to head & throat tumor removed 6 years ago. I can’t swallow anything. Every thing goes through a G-tube. It’s kind of embarrassing, but what can I do. I spit costantly, rubinol or those damn patches do not work. I will try the ginger via G-tube to see if it works.

  13. My Mom has dementia; she has been drooling a lot. I purchased the candy from the local co-op store. Also, I made tea with ginger, lemon and apple. We have been giving her the tea; I have noticed a decrease in drooling.

  14. I cannot wait to try this! My son is 6 and the older he gets the more he drools, we also did the bib and bandana thing until he was 4 and adults also made annoying comments to me too. We have tried the Robinul, we noticed that he was squinting really hard almost like his eyes were dried out. I really think it was a side affect from it, he is visually impaired so I don’t want him to have any more issues with his eyes so we stopped giving it to him. We are going on Wednesday for a consult to remove saliva glands but that isn’t really a surgery I want to go through if we don’t have to. So I cannot wait to get off of work to go buy some of these candies!! Are they soft? He has feeding/chewing issues :/

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