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Old Information about Gentian Violet

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Gentian violet is now known to be carcinogenic, i.e. causing cancer, so it should never be used casually.

I have removed this information from the main body of the Midwife Archives main web page about Breastfeeding/Nursing so as not to appear to be condoning its use:

Using Gentian Violet by Dr. Jack Newman

Gentian Violet is a deep purple dye.  Which can be the crystals dissolved in an alcohol base often called A tincture of Gentian Violet or was commonly dispensed in water aqueous gentian violet. Gentian Violet is actually a combination of 3 dyes methylin violet crystal violet and rosaniline violet. It is held to be antiseptic and disinfective and believe it or not as a pupil midwife I painted newborn babies umbilical stumps with this to prevent infection - the cords were on for AGES so it probably was very effective!

I am a midwife old enough to have used Gentian Violet for thrush with considerable success. You need an aqueous solution not the tincture for the baby's mouth and your nipples.  I have phoned my local pharmacist who says that while she hasn't got any, possibly some larger independent pharmacist may be able to get hold of some and dispense it.  It comes if I recollect, in the forms of crystals which the dispenser dissolves in water I do not recollect the prescription i.e. what the weight of crystals are to the volume of water but it isn't rocket science. If you have got access to a "Martingales" I'm sure it is in that.

I would add to this that gentian violet available without a prescription (call your local pharmacy as it may take them a day or so to get it.) It is very purple and stains everything but does wonders for thrush and baby's might not reject it as much as baking soda.  The goal with the baking soda or vinegar solution is to change the PH.  I also don't recommend petroleum anything as it leeches minerals out of the skin (re: Adelle Davis among others).  Lansinoh (a purified form of lanolin) would be an option for a mom who is having tissue damage with the dryness of the yeast.

I love this treatment,  but lll doesn't recommend it any more  because of  liability.  i hate that they fell prey to the medical pressure and and our litigious society,  do you think its just to make themselves appear more legit to the med community?

I believe that certainly is a major component.  LLLI's professional advisory board is just that--chock full of very reliable and highly supportive medical and related individuals well versed in the breastfeeding ideals through the auspices of LLL leaders and mothers around the world.  Their decisions are based on research and is conducted very carefully. When a LLL leader shells out advice such as this situation on thrush, you can bet that for experienced leaders and the mothers, it's quite accurate.  The old LLLI recommended book "You Can Breastfeed  Your Baby ...even in special situations" by Dorothy Patricia Brewster has been a well used reference book of mine since I got it in 1979.  Some old fashion remedies STILL work quite nicely IYKWIM.  I would like very much to learn if the book is out of print or revised in recent times.  If anybody happens to know, I'd appreciate hearing.   I retired after 14 years in 1991, so advising the baking soda treatment for me isn't a LLL endorsement any longer, and it still works if done according to instructions.  We always advise seeking a health care provider if no improvement within a reasonable time.

I have found that using lanolin at any point during a thrush infestation only furthers the problem, even after a good cleansing, as it lives down in the cracks and crevices. It's great for sore nipples, but is a hindrance in the battle of thrush.  I suggest using gentian violet and acidophilus. Get a gauze 4x and dip it in a little of the acidophilus and swab the baby's mouth really well, and then the mothers nipples. Lots of stuff will come off of the baby's mouth. After that, use the gentian violet, remembering to keep only old clothes and old blankets on the baby, as it stains EVERYTHING. Doing this treatment for about 10 days has worked very well! Also use the gentian on the mothers nipples, wearing old T-shirts, and use older sheets and blankets on the bed.  I battled thrush for a full 8 months before I figured out the gentian thing. I even broke down and did nystatin and diflucan, which never worked anyway!

I have this mom with sore and cracked nipples. Her baby is 14 months old, and they have been apparently passing yeast back and forth for a while. She is concerned that gentian violet will cause a tattooing of her nipples and areolae, because the skin there is so abraded. does anyone know if this could happen? Does anyone have other suggestions for the treatment of a situation like this? She is getting desperate enough to consider weaning...I don't know what else besides nystatin they have tried. I would assume they have tried the baking soda solution and the vinegar solution treatments. Is diflucan safe or effective in a situation like this? All suggestions both allopathic and alternative gratefully accepted.

The gentian violet should not cause permanent coloring. Never heard of it anyway.

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