Home Remedies for Whooping Cough Cure, Treatment
Until recently whooping cough was one of the most prevalent and alarming of childhood illnesses, not only because of its immediate and unpleasant effects but because of the far-reaching consequences it could have upon children's health i9f they were not nursed and convalesced with care. It was not uncommon for youngsters to be left with damaged lungs and permanent vulnerability to infection.
Small babies were and still are terribly at risk and if you have a child of school age in the same house as a baby and you know that whooping cough has been diagnosed in the area do your best to keep them separated. The first signs are a feverish cold and an unpleasant cough although the horrible whoop as they fight for air after a bout of violent coughing does not become apparent for about a week. Always seek professional advice
It is apparent, by all the wise saws and saying which abound, the before the advent of antibiotics and immunization a great many children contracted whooping cough. One which appears the most truthful even in our enlightened age is that if whooping cough starts in the bud of the year it will last " till the leaves fall', or in other words if it has not gone before May it will stay throughout the summer and leave a child very vulnerable to infection for many years to come.
One of the worst aspects of whooping cough is the terrible panic that a small child can get into and which exacerbates the cough and makes it even more difficult for them to get their breath. All that you can do at this particular juncture is to sit them on your lap, leaving them plenty of space to breathe, holding a bowl in case they are sick and wiping the face with a cool, fragrant cloths whilst giving them calm, constant reassurance.
A mildly sedative herbal tea taken with plenty of honey three or four times a day will help to keep them calm. Camomile is most helpful as it is anti-spasmodic and can be given to very small children. So can lemon balm and catnip-1 teaspoon for very small children graduating to 1 tablespoon or 1 small cup for older children. Make sure that they take plenty of liquids to drink but not milk which can make them sick, although goat's milk is recommended during convalescence. Mare's milk was also thought to be very nourishing but is a little difficult to acquire nowadays! Do not give them dry food to eat as this will irritate the throat but make sure that they have a regular daily intake of vitamin C to combat infection.
Any of the cough syrups given under Chest Infections, Cataral Infections and Bronchitis, particularly garlic and honey, cabbage syrup or radish and honey, will help to ease the cough, whilst 'rubs' for the chest such as eucalyptus, essential oil of pine or cypress in almond oil, Olbas oil or garlic oil, together with many of the suggestions also be found under Chest Infections, will ease the respiratory passages and make the child feel more comfortable.
Thyme Infuse 25g (1oz) of thyme in 600 ml (1pint) of boiling water, strain and take with honey: 1 tablespoon four times daily for older children and 1 tablespoon for babies. The same tea can be made with marjoram, mouse ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella which will reduce a fever), dried red clover flowers, lavender, honeysuckle flowers or elecampane which are all very, mild and can be given as above to children of three years and upwards.
Lettuce Simmer 1 cleaned head of lettuce in 600 ml (1 pint) of water for 20 minutes. Drink the liquid three times a day.
Fizzy lemonade This is helpful if drunk warm.
Onion and Honey Syrup
450g (1lb) onions
225g (8oz) garlic
600 ml (1/4 pint) honey.
Peel and finely slice the onions and garlic and put them in a covered dish with the oil. Cook slowly in a low over until very soft. Strain well and add the remaining ingredients. Bottle and cork, shake before using. For children over two years old and up to four give 1 teaspoon three times daily. Increase the does accordingly to age. At one time 15g (1/2 oz) of paregoric (a medicine consisting of opium, benzoic acid, camphor and anise oil) would have been added.
Prickly pear syrup Cut the leaves of 3 prickly pears into pieces (a feat in itself) and boil gently for half an hour. Strain and sweeten with unrefined sugar. Boil again until syrupy.
Grape juice This is an excellent drink for sick children and it can also be used to great effect to cleanse the nose throat and mouth.
Slippery elm The powdered bark mixed with water and honey is both a food and tonic.
Garlic - Try and get the child to inhale the volatile vapours of slices of garlic trapped in boiling water. Do not cover the heads of very small children as it may frighten them.
Camphor and naptha crystals To hang these around the neck in a small, thick cotton bag is an age old remedy.
Rum Tub the back of the patient with old dark rum. Presumably the fumes alone are enough to induce sleep.