Karo syrup for infant constipation: Constipation is characterized by painful or irregular intestinal movements. You may be constipated if you experience hard, rare stools – less than three a week – seats, force during bowel movements or the sensation of incomplete defecation. Karo Syrup is a brand of corn syrup. Mayo Clinic Pediatrician Jay L. Hoecker said it was once a popular home remedy for constipation in infants.

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Karo syrup for infant constipation
Karo syrup for infant constipation

Karo syrup for infant constipation: Definition

Karo syrup is a concentrated solution of glucose and other sugars derived from corn starch. It has a sweet, taste and a thick consistency. It comes in three varieties, including light, lite, and dark. “Light” refers to the color any “lite” refers to the calorie content. Karo dark corn syrup also contains refiner syrup, a type of molasses. This is the kind of corn syrup Hoecker said has been traditionally used to treat constipation.


Hoecker says that old versions of dark corn syrup contained significant amounts of a sugar alcohol called sorbitol that sucks fluid into the intestine, producing a laxative effect. However, Hoecker questions whether modern methods of commercial processing generate enough sorbitol to be active. The website reports Karo syrup only glucose content – 15 to 20 percent – and describes the rest of its components as “a mixture of various other types of sugar.”

Karo syrup for infant constipation
Karo syrup for infant constipation


In November 2010, the National Library of Medicine listed no studies evaluating the efficacy of Karo or other corn syrups for the treatment of constipation. In the “Common Sense Encyclopedia” Parents, “pediatrician Jeffrey W. Hull describes Karo syrup as his” first recommendation of choice “for the treatment of constipation in bottle-fed infants and says” this works almost always, Is used correctly. “However, Hull says, most doctors do not use it properly, which is why they get mediocre results. For best results, Hull says parents should add 2 tbsp. Per bottle of formula.


Hoecker warns that corn syrups, like Karo, may contain botulism spores. In children under 1, these spores can survive in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a rare but severe disease in the form of food poisoning. However, Hull’s points to a September 2003 report published in the journal “Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine,” which concluded the corn syrup is “more a risk factor for infant botulism due to a recent change in the formula for treatment.”

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Karo syrup for infant constipation
Karo syrup for infant constipation

Experts disagree on the safety and efficacy of using Karo syrup for constipation. Before using it on your child, consult the child’s doctor. Your doctor may suggest other strategies. For example, Hoecker suggests offering 2 to 4 ounces of plum, pear or apple juice and replacing rice cereal with grain barley. Hoecker says you can also apply a small amount of water-soluble lubricant to your child’s anus. Never use mineral oils, laxatives or enemas on a child except as prescribed by the child’s doctor. If constipation persists or the child develops other symptoms, such as vomiting or irritability, contact the child’s doctor for further instructions.

How to Use Karo Syrup for Constipation

Constipation is a common ailment that affects millions of people around the world. Constipation can be a one-off problem, or it can be a recurrent disease that requires dietary changes or conventional treatment.

Karo syrup is a corn syrup that is sometimes used as a home remedy for constipation. While it is not recommended as a treatment for common sickness, using Karo syrup for the treatment of occasional constipation is a simple process.


  • Mix 1 to 2 tsp. Karo syrup in a glass of warm water. Warm water will help treat the blocked intestine.
  • Drink the whole glass of water with Karo syrup in it.
  • Wait a few hours before taking another dose of Karo syrup. Karo syrup takes longer to work than drugs, but it also does not have the side effects these medications can cause. If the Karo syrup does not operate or the condition comes back on a regular basis, consult a doctor.

Tips and Warnings

  • Karo syrup so can give to children, but their dose should be only 1/4 tsp. Tea. The Mayo Clinic reports that it is not likely to be useful for infants.

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