Home Remedies for Whooping Cough

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Sometimes a cough is more than just a simple cough, especially when a pesky bacterium comes in contact with your airways. In the past, whooping cough killed 5,000 to 10,000 people yearly in the United States. Luckily, with the help of vaccines and home remedies for whooping cough – the number of people who suffer deadly effects has considerably decreased.

What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is an infection of the respiratory system that is identified by severe coughing spells. The condition gets its name from the “whooping” sound that is heard when an infected person breathes in [1]. Whooping cough is highly contagious.

Causes of Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis) and is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Tiny droplets of germs travel through the air. If someone nearby breathes in the air infected with the bacteria – they are in danger of contracting the infection. Once the bacteria make contact with the airways, it starts to multiply and produce toxins that stop your body’s ability to remove the germs.

The airways become clogged with thick mucus that gives way to uncontrollable coughing. The bacteria are also responsible for causing inflammation that narrows breathing tubes in your lungs [2]. When the breathing tubes narrow, you start gasping for air, which leads to the high-pitched sound associated with whooping cough.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

The first symptoms to appear in a case of whooping cough are often confused with the common cold. A patient may experience a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and a low-grade fever. After 1 to 2 weeks have passed, coughing spells that cause dryness and irritation develop. Coughing spells can last for more than a minute. A child can actually turn red or purple during this time. Vomiting may also take place.

After a spell has passed, a child may emit the characteristic whooping sound as they breathe. It is important to note that not everyone will let out a whoop when coughing. For example, some infants don’t cough or whoop at all. Between spells, a child generally feels well.

Adults and adolescents with whooping cough typically exhibit milder or atypical symptoms. They may have a prolonged cough without experiencing coughing spells or the whoop.

Whooping Cough Home Remedies

Since whooping cough is highly contagious, it’s in your best interest to fight the infection and treat symptoms. When you want to enhance the healing process, consider the following home remedies for whooping cough:

a) Turmeric Powder and Honey:

Mix one tablespoon of honey and 1/4 tablespoon of turmeric powder to create a soothing remedy for whooping cough. Take one tablespoon of the mixture every day that symptoms linger.

b) No Irritants in the Air:

Irritants in the air can trigger a coughing spell. Try to keep the air free of aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, and smoke from cooking. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves also place irritants in the air that can affect a whooping cough patient.

c) Wash Hands:

Washing your hands often will help prevent the transmission of the infection to others.

d) Mask:

Wearing a mask and covering the mouth when around others will help eliminate the spread of whooping cough.

e) Load Up on Fluids:

Prevent the dehydration that may accompany whooping cough by drinking juice and sipping on soup. It’s important to keep a lookout for signs of dehydration in children, such as dry lips and infrequent urination.

f) Water:

Drink plenty of water (a natural expectorant) throughout the day to help thin mucus and soften the cough. Aim for drinking more than 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.

g) Small Meals:

To prevent vomiting associated with whooping cough, offer children smaller, more frequent meals.

h) Onion:

To make a natural cough syrup, combine raw onion juice with honey. Set the mixture aside for 3 to 4 hours. Use this home remedy for whooping cough on a daily basis – take one teaspoon per day.

i) Hot Packs:

Enjoy temporary relief from whooping cough by placing a hot pack on the throat and chest.

j) Eucalyptus:

Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus to a carrier oil (such as almond or jojoba) to create a soothing rub for your chest.

k) Vaporizer:

When a child has a case of whooping cough, it’s time to dust off the vaporizer during their recovery. As they rest in bed, use a cool-mist vaporizer to help loosen respiratory secretions. This home remedy will also soothe lungs and irritated breathing passages.

l) Garlic:

Grate one or two cloves of garlic, and then mix with one teaspoon of honey. The ingredients found in both the honey and garlic can treat symptoms of whooping cough.

m) Ginger:

Add a small amount of ginger to a boiling pot to make a tea that treats symptoms of whooping cough. Drink the tea several times per day to see results.

n) Radish:

You can make a cough syrup by combining one teaspoon of fresh radish juice with an equal amount of honey. Add salt to the taste. Take the syrup three times daily.

o) Carrot Juice:

Combine one tablespoon of carrot juice with a small amount of honey and warm water to make a syrup for whooping cough. It is recommended to take one tablespoon of the mixture for several times per day.


[1] http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/whooping_cough.html
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whooping-cough/DS00445/DSECTION=causes