NEW YORK (AP) A baby with rare complications of the birth defect craniofacial clefting has been receiving a prescription for herbal medicine from a New York dentist.
The baby’s father, who’s been in a coma since the birth, said his daughter was born with a birth defect that made it difficult to feed her.
The mother was hospitalized.
The baby is now in stable condition, the father said.
The condition affects about 1 in 200 babies.
It was the first documented case of craniofacial cleft in the United States.
Doctors say the remedy, called bulegana, works by binding together toxins and calcium in the mother’s blood and bones to slow or prevent the birth of babies with cleftes.
It’s made by taking dried leaves, boiling them and adding a few drops of crushed coral bark, which is known to be very helpful for babies with congenital cleft.
The mother was treated for her bleeding during the birth and her condition improved, doctors said.
Bulegana is a rare disease that affects only about 1 percent of the population.
It can cause the birth defects of cleft palate and cleft lip, among other things.
The New York City Department of Health said it wasn’t aware of other cases of congenital defects in babies born with the disorder.
Bucegana has been used in several other countries, including Japan and Australia, but its use in the U.S. has been limited, the department said.