Here in Michigan, we have recently been experiencing a rise in cases of Pertussis or Whooping Cough, with a current total of 37 confirmed cases, mostly in school-aged children. When it comes to the spread of an illness such as whooping-cough, tensions can run high for parents. Many times, it turns into the blame game between vaccinated and unvaccinated families. (The cases here are close to 50/50 between vaccinated and unvaccinated (or not up to date on the vaccine), although that number fluctuates as new cases come forth. Many states have seen outbreaks where a majority of the children were vaccinated.) In my research of whooping-cough, it’s evident that most of the fear surrounding this illness comes from the fact that modern medicine is limited in its means to treat it and therefore relies almost solely on a vaccine and antibiotics. When those fail, fear ensues.
While whooping-cough can be alarming in babies, it doesn’t have to be a scary event when you know how to care for yourself and your family. Whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated against this ailment, there are effective ways to lessen whooping-cough symptoms and to shorten the length of the illness should you or your family come down with it.
Below is a list of the most effective Homeopathic remedies and other valuable therapies to use should a case of whooping-cough affect you or someone you know. When choosing a Homeopathic remedy, choose the one that most closely matches as many of the symptoms as possible. If you are uncertain which remedy to use, contact a Certified Homeopathic Practitioner.
Drocera: This is the first remedy to consider in cases of whooping-cough. The coughing fits can be lengthy and severe, making it difficult to catch ones breath. The cough is generally worse after midnight and worse upon lying down. The cough may cause vomiting and can be painful. There may be a tickling or dryness in the throat, which can cause fits of coughing. The cough is generally not productive and the coughing fits can get worse in trying to reach the phlegm. This cough may cause nose bleeds.
Antimonium Tartaricum: This remedy is indicated when breathing and coughing is accompanied by loud rattling in the chest due to the mucus. While coughing it will sound as if there is an overwhelming amount of mucus but none will be produced from the cough. In addition, if this remedy is indicated, there will mostly likely be a great weakness and sleepiness present. It may seem as if the person needing this remedy is too weak to cough up the mucus.
Bryonia: This cough will be dry, hard and very painful. There may be a feeling that you must hold your chest in order to cough hard enough to get the phlegm to move up. The cough becomes worse during any movement and can be worse from eating and upon entering a warm room. The person who needs this remedy may continually want to be left alone and to lie perfectly still.
Causticum: This cough will get deeper and deeper as it persists to try to reach the mucus. The cough will be worse from cold drinks but will be better with bending over/forward. The cough may be hard and racking, with a raw feeling in the chest.
Coccus Cacti: This remedy is indicated when the cough produces a thick, clear, ropy mucus. Many times, because of this mucus, the cough with end in vomiting. The mucus may come out of the nose, as well as the chest. Drinking a cold glass of water or breathing in cold air may temporarily relieve the cough and the tickling that may be present in the throat. This cough is generally worse in a warm room.
Cuprum Metallicum: The cough that would indicate this remedy is very similar to the cough of Drocera except in this remedy you will see cramping of muscles, clenched fists and/or convulsions associated with the cough. There may be sudden coughing attacks that lead to near-suffocation. There may be blueness in the face, fingers or toes. The cough is generally worse in the middle of the night (around 3am) and if emotions run high (such as the child getting upset).
Ipecacuanha: This remedy is used mainly for children in situations of cough and is indicated when there is persistent nausea present that is not relieved by vomiting that follows the cough. This remedy should also be considered if the child becomes very stiff and rigid with the cough. The cough may rattle and can be worse when entering a warm room.
Spongia: The cough that will benefit from this remedy will be dry, tickling, constricting and painful (both in the chest and in the throat). The cough may be worse from talking and swallowing and can be characterized as a cough that sounds like a seal barking. It is generally worse before midnight and with cold drinks and may be temporarily alleviated by eating.
In addition to Homeopathy, there are other things you can do to lessen the symptoms and shorten the length of the illness.
Vitamin C: One of the most important things you can do is up your daily intake of vitamin C. Dosage depends on size/age. If you are unsure, contact your medical provider. Always consult your provider before administering vitamins to infants or young children.
Thyme Essential Oil: Put a few drops into a warm bath, diffuser or humidifier. The Thyme can help kill bacteria and the warm steam, in combination, can help loosen mucus and give relief from the cough. Other effective oils include: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, R.C., Marjoram and Pine.
Chest or Back Massage: You can mix a couple of drops of one of the oils listed above to a little olive oil for a chest or back massage.
Herbal and/or Ginger Tea: Unless your cough is one that is worse when you drink something warm, a nice warm glass of tea can be a relief. Choose your favorite and add fresh ginger for an immune boost and for help to excrete toxins (ginger can help you to “sweat it out”). Sweeten with honey if desired. Mullein is also a nice addition to your herbal tea. It is a natural expectorant and in many times, can be found right in your back yard.
Thieves Oil: This is an oil blend available at Young Living and it’s one of our favorites. When sick (with any cold, virus or bacterial infection) rub Thieves oils directly on the bottoms of both feet about an hour before bed. Put on a pair of very warm socks (double up if necessary, you want your feet to sweat while you sleep). Your body will absorb the oils and then when your feet begin to sweat during the night you will excrete some of the toxins that have built up during the illness. This has always worked wonders for our family in lessening the symptoms and shortening the length of almost every illness.
Light, Easy Meals: Soups and broths are the best. If your cough is worse from drinking or eating warm foods/liquids try a variety of juices. It is important to stay away from dairy as it can increase the amount of mucus.
Rest, Rest, Rest: While sleep will be interrupted with coughing, it is important to rest as much as possible when you can. Prop yourself or your child up with a few pillows if lying down aggravates the cough.
While whooping-cough can put anyone in an undesirable situation, there are things you can do to help you and your family during this bout of illness.
**We do not diagnose or treat disease. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only. If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening, please consult a licensed medical doctor.