Whooping Cough III: Natural Remedies for Prevention and Treatment

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natural remedies whooping coughThis is the Whooping Cough post that I’m the most excited to share!!!  I mean, I’m not giddy about having such a long and nasty bug this year, but it’s such a great feeling to treat your family at home with herbs and foods that you feel good about giving them, and watch them get better!  So I want to share what has worked for our family.

In case you missed it, Part I: Our Whooping Cough Story is here, and Part II: Dangers, Diagnosis & Conventional Treatment is here.

I’m going to post random vacation pictures.  The only way that these will relate at all is that this is the time that we discovered that this handsome little beach stud had whooping cough.

Seriously, Mom?  DAD!!!  Do you see this?

Prevention of Whooping Cough

If you read the article I wrote on September 3rd about using Garlic as a natural remedy, you’ll see that I mentioned that I was trying to come down with a cough.  Well, I didn’t know it at the time, but the babe and I were in the first phase of whooping cough.  I felt as if I had a thick layer of mucous high up in my chest/throat area.

I decided to go ahead and treat myself with garlic, as I find that treating at the *VERY* first sign of an illness really gives your immune system the home court advantage.

Placing a whole, fresh clove of garlic in my cheek, biting down on it with my molars, and holding it for a few minutes knocked it out.  I did this twice…once that night while writing the blog post, and once the next day.

The garlic biting was really not as bad as I anticipated it being…it’s no where near the intensity as chewing a clove, as it sits so far back in the mouth and there is no chewing and tongue coating intensity.  It’s doable even for an herbal wimp like me.

So, I accidentally knocked out a case of Whooping Cough using the powerful antibiotic properties of garlic…but the baby still got it.  If I had known what we were dealing with at the time, I would have used a garlic poultice on my little guy, and eaten more garlic myself to rally his immune system to knock it out.

Whooping Cough Treatment in the Coughing Phase (Paroxysmal Phase)

When we went to the doctor in my baby’s second week of coughing, the coughing fits were really, really bad.

But when he wasn’t having a coughing fit, he was a happy, healthy looking baby with no symptoms of illness besides a bit of congestion rattle when he breathed.  No fever, runny nose, etc.  And OF COURSE he didn’t cough once at the doctors office.

My husband and I decided not to medically prevent our baby’s coughs by using cough suppressants.  However, my heart just broke every time he had a coughing fit…I hated it, and I wanted to help support his body in healing.  I wanted to do something about it, and I felt strongly that herbs and nutrition would be the best way to help him heal quickly.

Since my babe was at the age where he was very interested in watching us eat,  I decided to look into herbs or foods that would help support and repair what the whooping cough toxins had compromised.  If he had been a bit younger, I would have simply applied the foods and herbs to my diet, and he would have benefited from it through nursing.

This is actually where a majority of my whooping cough research began.

I wanted to know exactly what areas of the body had been damaged, and find foods that contained nutrients that supported healing in those areas.
So I did a little (OK…several hours worth of) research.

First I looked at medical journals that outlined the progression and actions of the disease.  Then, I took those terms, and searched for foods and herbs that directly addressed those issues in the body.  This is what I came up with for him:

My Recipe for Whooping Cough Remedy Stew

The Problem is:“Pertussis progressively destroys the ciliated epithelial cells” (4)
Research says:… beta-carotene acts to strengthen the epithelial cells of the mucous membranes  (1)

Some herbs and foods that are high in beta carotene are alfalfa, and cooked carrots.  Cooking and pureeing carrots actually increases the availability of the beta carotene

…so pureed carrots went on the menu. 

I also read that a small amount of fat in the meal ensures that the body absorbs more of the beta carotene.(3)

…so I added a bit of good organic butter to the mix.

The Problem is: Pertussis “inhibits coupling of receptors to inter-cellular signaling pathways, leading to the secretion of fluids and electrolytes from the cells.” (4)  [My translation: it shuts down the electrical system of the cells and cause them to leak fluids or burst]
Research says:
-A substance called Beta-1,3-D-glucan (found in oats, barley and yeasts) are potent macrophage activators.  Macrophages ignite intercellular communication by releasing chemical messengers called cytokines (interferon and interleukin). These cytokines are powerful proteins responsible for catalyzing and regulating several immune responses within the body.

Great!  I just happened to have pearled barley and oats…tossing those in with buttered pureed carrots.

The Problem is:“Studies with animals have shown that both humoral [within the body fluids] and inter-cellular immunity is required to eliminate an infection with B. pertussis.” (4)
Research says:
-Garlic may stimulate both humoral and cellular immunity, cause T-cell proliferation, and restore suppressed antibody responses (5)

…adding in some garlic.

The Problem is:“Pertussis paralyzes the cilia, coating it with a sticky toxin.  This, in turn, makes the lungs even more susceptible to secondary infections. B. pertussis potentiates [increases or enhances] the effects of histamine, resulting in increased mucus production.  The respiratory tract becomes overly sensitive to environmental irritants”
Research says:
-Garlic eases bronchial secretions (6) and has rejuvenating effect on all cells.  Garlic is effective against toxic bacteria, viruses, and fungi.(7)

…and some more garlic.

I also added in some dried basil and oregano, which I had on a list in my herbal notes as natural anti-histamines.  Other natural anti-histamines include chamomile, fennel and tarragon.  The first two would be nice in a tea blend.

So, the natural remedy was disguised as baby food, using these specific ingredients. It would also have made a delicious stew, if I had not pureed it.  Here is a printable recipe if you’d like to try it!

Whooping Cough Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 T good quality butter
  • ⅔ c. chopped carrots
  • 6 cups of good, homemade chicken or beef stock (or 6 cups of water, and beef or chicken bones)
  • 1½ cups cooked chicken meat (optional: I leave this out for little ones)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine or minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. dried basil
  • ¼ t. dried oregano (or sub ½ t. Greek Seasoning Mix for dried herbs)
  • ½ c. pearled barley
  • ½ c. oats (any form from steel cut to quick cooking)
  • 1½ cups of fresh, organic spinach greens
  • ½ t. yeast
Instructions
Broth Instructions
  1. If you're starting with bones and water, place them in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for a couple of hours, skimming the top from time to time.
  3. Or you may alternatively place it all in the crock pot overnight on high.
  4. Strain broth through a sieve into a large soup pot, and follow instructions below.
Soup Instructions
  1. If you have chicken or beef broth/stock ready to go, add it to a large pot or crock pot, along with melt butter, cooked chicken, chopped carrots, garlic, basil and oregano. Heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Add pearled barley and oats, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add in the fresh spinach and a bit of yeast just before serving.
Notes
I was a little surprised that the combination I made for my 7 month old baby smelled really good! The immersion blender did a great job of pureeing the food into a mush, and we froze most of it in ice cube trays.
I didn't include any protein in the baby food version, because my son was still nursing for most of his nutrition. If this was being served as the main course for an older baby or child, I would add the meat or even do an "egg drop" method to enhance the protein content.
We are not "religious" food snobs by any means, but for a family who is recuperating from an illness, I find it is really worth it for me to get the best quality meats and eggs that I can find. I get grass-fed beef bones from a local company, as well as pasture raised eggs. There really is a nutritional difference.

My little guy was very excited to start eating, and really, really likes his food.  But the best part is that his coughing got progressively better.  I noticed a difference within 48 hours, and by the end of the week, he was remarkably better.

Which is amazing, because he had the worst cough of all, having such small airways.

Whooping Cough Treatment During the Recovery Phase

The next phase of Pertussis is called the “Recovery Phase” and is the longest of the three phases.  In fact, it can last for up to 6 months.  If you remember from my first post on whooping cough, I wrote:

“Coughing fits begin to happen with less frequently and duration.  The lungs recover slowly, and the person is more susceptible to secondary infections because the protective cilia layer is gone.  Infections that do develop afterwards are going to stimulate similar coughing fits.”

My 8 year old and 3 year old were in this phase as we prepared to leave for our family vacation…prior to me really *understanding* that we actually had whooping cough.

Just before we left for vacation in September, my 8 year old and 3 year old had been coughing for 4 and 3 weeks, respectively.  It was still interfering with everyone’s sleep, and the coughs were still intense.

They had both been taking this homemade honey/lemon ‘cough syrup’ all along, with no real changes, but they liked it, so I let them have as much as they wanted.  And at that point, I was still thinking that I was dealing primarily with “germs”, and not understanding that it was mainly toxic aftermath/damage I should be addressing.

As we were getting ready to go out of town, I happened to run across a blog post about the benefits of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory.  So I added turmeric and a dash of pepper to their honey.  My  3 y.o. had the worst cough of the two.  I gave her one dose of the turmeric boosted “cough syrup” the night before we left for vacation.

On day 2 of our vacation, we realized that she was barely coughing anymore!

The bad news was that I had left the turmeric honey at home.  Thankfully, it’s a common kitchen herb, so after a quick run to the local super market, I dosed both of them with the turmeric honey.  After weeks of coughing, we were amazed that this simple natural remedy diminished their coughs to almost non-existent.

Turmeric is a yellow spice (a ground root) that is used in Indian food.  It has a warm, spicy smell and taste, and it is a very good anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine.  Using a bit of black pepper thrown in helps the body absorb more into the blood stream (and by more, I mean 2,000 percent more, according to one study!)  Turmeric powder is VERY yellow, though, and can stain, but a soak (or two) in Oxy-Clean got the stains out for us.

I wrote about turmeric in depth here, and it’s now one of my favorite herbs that I keep on hand in bulk.  It’s VERY versatile in its actions and we prefer it for headaches, stopping blood flow, and especially for coughing.

Since I don’t give honey to my little guy yet, I gave the him some turmeric mixed in plain organic yogurt or maple syrup.  Because he was still in the paroxysmal (fits) stage, we were dealing with fresh damage to his lung tissue, he responded more-so to the foods and herbs that I posted about earlier.  The turmeric didn’t shut down the coughing as quickly as it had for my other two kiddos, but it was still helpful for him as an anti-histamine.

good morning!

I’m really grateful that we had another opportunity to use natural remedies to help us get well.  Even after seeing it work over and over, it’s still amazing and rewarding to see how the body responds to good whole foods, and medicinal herbs.

I want to hear if this works for you!  Pass it on, and send me your comments.  I love hearing from you!

Update

This was shared on the Gwens-Nest facebook page, and I wanted to share it here as well:

“Hi there!! I just wanted to pass along the vitamin C info someone recommended to me – it seems to be helping alot!
http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/updatedThe-Vitamin-C-Treatment-of-Whooping-Cough-10-5+doc-1.pdf
We are doing high doses of Vitamin C – if I ease off on the dose the cough gets worse so it really does seem to be helping! He has one major coughing fit per day (unfortunately at about 5am!!) and then the odd cough or two throughout the day and that’s it.” Lauren C.

Feedback:

“Hi Gwen, my whole family has been suffering from whooping cough. My daughter and I have had it quite severe and are still suffering the effects. I started to google home remedies as the doctors can not give you anything for it. I found your cough syrup which my husband made me up a big batch on Saturday. I must say, it has helped me so much. On Friday night, I was going to take my daughter and I to hospital. I haven’t felt that way again since taking your cough syrup. We are still coughing, but it isn’t as bad and doesnt seem to last as long. I have been taking the syrup for nearly 48 hours, so I am hoping I will continue to improve. I have been giving it to the kids too, and they dont mind it. Thank you for sharing your recipe and it has at least given me some hope that we will all get over this dreaded bug.” Paula

Thank you so much to all those who have taken time to share their tips, stories and experiences with Pertussis.

I had no idea that there would be outbreaks of Whooping Cough when I wrote this series.  My heart goes out to the parents and little ones who are in the midst of this scary illness, and it is my hope that you find resources and research to help your family cope with and heal from Whooping Cough.

And we can rejoice together that immunity from having Whooping Cough is generally life-time immunity!

Here is another great article to check out: Natural Ttreatment for Whooping Cough by Holistic Squid.

Sources cited:
(full disclosure: the last two books are linked through my Amazon affiliate account)
1. http://www.bulkherbstore.com/AHC?s=cells
2. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904124728.htm
3. http://www.vitamin-basics.com/index.php?id=35
4. Essentials of Immunology and Serology, By Jacqueline Stanley, 2002  http://tiny.cc/n89sh
5. http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69230.cfm
6. Nutritional Herbology : A Reference Guide to Herbs
7. The How to Herb Book: Let’s Remedy the Situation

P.S. Info…not meant to treat, diagnose…blah blah…I’m just a housefrau, so don’t listen to anything I say. :) Mmm-K?

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Whooping Cough III: Natural Remedies for Prevention and Treatment — 80 Comments

  1. Pingback: Whooping Cough II: Dangers, Diagnosis & Conventional Treatments | Gwens Nest

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  3. Gwen, THANK YOU for your info and recipe!!!! After feeding my family these suggested foods and the stew, about 48 hrs later they were SO much better! They went from sounding like they were all three going to die to coughing just a few times at night. Thank you so much, my husband was skeptical, but I told him we could trust your research. You came through again!!! Really appreciate being able to look things up on your site and not having to depend on the sea of cyber-junk that usually pops up when searching for natural remedies.

    • Thank you SO much for your comment and love, Sunny! ♥
      I’m SO happy that the recipe worked well for you! Foods can be amazing medicine, when they provide the right nutrients for the body to self-repair!

  4. Thanks for this! I found this fascinating and might try the tumeric honey syrup on my husband who has a lingering cough from a throat infection.

  5. We are fighting this terrible disease in our 2 year old daughter. Going to start some preventative measures with the ones (who we hope) are not already infected. Might I add, NIGHTIME IS BRUTAL! My husband and I take shifts. Pray for us, please!!!

  6. Once again, you are a TREMENDOUS blessing! My middle boy, Micah, (also my total ALL things outdoors kid) woke up with a super fever this morning, and a harsh cough that has been a bit on the “annoying” side (to him, lol, he HATES getting sick!) but hit him hard today. My lil-me (Abigail-5) had what I firmly believe was whooping cough, about a month ago… since my intro to herbs, essential oils, and coconut oil in November ’12, I’ve put together my own little (ok, pretty big, lol) notebook (made from a super old photo album, but mine is a billion sheet protectors filled with hand-written notes containing amazingly valuable (to me) info on anything herbal that I can get my hands on!!)
    All that aside, I’m following your experience-gleaned research and remedies to the “T”, in hopes of ridding my boy of this junk, and preventing the rest of us from getting any worse (than we will/would withOUT the remedies)
    Thank you for being so amazing!
    Much love and respect,
    Andrea

    • I’m so glad that you are enjoying my little blog. Hope your kiddos feel better soon! I sure do love playing with and researching herbs, and sharing them here.

      I love to hear what works for you too, so let me know how it goes, OK?!

  7. I have not started my daughter on food. She just turned 6 months April 1 and is still exclusively breast fed. Is it too early to start the puree if she has never had food before?

    • Starting babies on solids is such a personal decision, and there are lots of opinions on when the right time is, etc. My little guy was 7 months old at the time he contracted whooping cough, and we made the decision to go ahead and let him transition to foods just to treat the whooping cough (he was already HIGHLY interested in foods, but was still exclusively breast fed at the time).

      If you are not comfortable with the timing, you can definitely enjoy the remedies and recipes, and she will benefit through you. ♥

      I’m so sorry that you guys are going through this…it’s never fun, but it’s harder on a Mama’s heart with such a little one.

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  9. WOW —wish I had come across this about 2 months ago. We had some success with LOBELIA taken with cayanne pepper and also sage in honey lessened the coughs…we are in the 8th week of “recovery” stage. Going to get some tumeric right away.

    • Good combo on the herbs! Hope the turmeric really kicks it for you. I want to know how it works out…I love hearing feedback, and so do other readers. :)

      • I tried this last week. The dr said that I had Whooping Cough, but test is not back yet, so maybe not. Anyway, I was coughing so hard it made my stomach hurt and thought that my head was going to explode. I couldn’t talk because of the coughing and if I took anything but a shallow breath, it would start of the long, wracking cough. It was terrible. As soon as I found your blog, I asked my husband to make the cough syrup with turmeric. It was evening and it seemed to help the cough some. I to it several times before I went to be. I didn’t wake myself up coughing, which I had done continually, the night before. When I woke up the next day, I didn’t start to cough, when I took a hot, steamy shower, I didn’t cough! I couldn’t believe it. I could talk again and breathe normally. I still coughed a bit, but it was just a normal cough, not on and on and on.
        Thank you so much for this recipe!! I feel so much better and I will tell all my family and friend to try it if they get a cough.
        Cheers

    • Hi Mandi, I think I mentioned that my older two children who picked it up first were fully vaccinated. My two youngest were not. Thankfully, they all have lifetime immunity now from going through it. :)

  10. How much turmeric did you add to your honey/lemon cough syrup recipe? My Mom is in the middle of this and 14 more of us were exposed with several of us in in the initial stage.

  11. Thank you so much, Gwen, for the great info! My 12 yr. old is on day 53 of the whooping cough that he was tested and confirmed for…he was doing great until this last Sunday when he caught a cold from his classmate who shared it with half the class….and it threw us back into the bad coughs again and being up at night….he is just now getting better enough to go back to school today…I was told about homeopathic remedies Drosera and Ipecacuana last week and just got some and started using them day before yesterday….definitely helped! By the way, after he was diagnosed with whooping cough and was put on the Zithromax, he was greatly helped by it…like night and day!! I have been making homemade chicken noodle soup like crazy with fresh garlic and onions, carrots, and celery and chicken breasts….it’s the best food for our son by far! I got so exhausted being up at nights, etc, that I ended up in the hospital with hyperthyroid racing heart, etc….so when people at our church and Christian school asked what they could do for us, I said, would you mind making some homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh garlic and onions, and they said, sure….so thankfully we have had some help and great soups like medicine to our souls and bodies! So thankful for Christian community! :)

  12. I was just in the emergency room last night with my 4 month old and they believe he may have pertussis. The results wont be back for another couple of days but they put him on Azithromycin for 7 days. He woke me up at 2 am, no prior issues (sneeze nor cough nor runny nose) acting as though he was gasping for air. I thought at first maybe he had some reflux issues but it didn’t quit so I rushed him on to the E.R. in a panic. He hasn’t been vaccinated at all as of yet so to say I’m a little concerned is an understatement.. I plan on doing a delayed schedule, opting out of a good amount of the scheduled vaccines. But this one kind of snuck up on us with no fair warning! I went ahead and started him on the prescribed vaccine this morning and started my own research :).. Which, led me here to you! I am in the process of making the chicken broth for the Whooping Cough Stew of yours and while he has been trying some solids (green beans, carrots and sweat potatoes), should I be concerned with any of these ingredients reacting with his antibiotic? I’d ask my own doctor, but he wasn’t in the office today. I also noticed the turmeric you used in your cough syrup, would it be possible to add a little to the stew?? So far, he isn’t coughing, but he does sound like he has a lot of mucus build up in his throat/chest, which I guess is what was causing his breathing issues. No fever. Pretty happy baby really. I would just like to really head this off as much as possible in the event the tests show that he does in fact have pertussis.. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thank you SO much for all of the research you have done and the advice you have given. :)

  13. I ran across your blog on whooping cough and just want to thank you for all your research in to the matter. My 3 year old is right in the middle of it and thankfully I found your cough remedy to give the poor girl some relief. My 14 mo old sounds like she might be in the very beginning stages of pertussis. I hear a lot of congestion forming in her chest. I’ve been treating her with the cough remedy, as well as the soup recipe on your site. I’m dreading going through it with my youngest. I made an appt with our naturopath for her but after reading all your research I’m questioning if that would even provide more insight in to bypassing it all together. It sounds like once they are infected there’s not much else a doctor can do than what I’ve already been doing at home for them. It’s just hard seeing what my 3yr old went through and anticipating what my baby is about to go through.

    • if you catch it before the coughing gets bad or they start to get better (when the bacteria had done its damage) you can take at antibiotics (natural or not) an dknock it out!

    • I’ll second what Andi said. If you start antibiotics very early then you can kill the pertussis bacteria before they do all the damage. All 5 of my kids (ages 18 months to 7 years) have had Whooping cough this summer/fall. The oldest got it first and by the time the test came back positive all the other kids had been exposed. Our entire family took the round of Zithromycin (the first round of anitbiotics any of my kids has ever taken), and it DID decrease the severity of the coughing for the younger kids. My oldest was 3 weeks into the coughing before she took the meds, so they didn’t help her much, aside from the fact that taking the meds does kill the bacteria, which means that you won’t be contagious once you’ve taken the full round of them. Otherwise, a person is considered contagious until at least 3 weeks after the onset of coughing. I’ve appreciated all the helpful info on this blog. It helped us to rebuild the kids’ immune systems after taking the antibiotics and also helped them heal faster. We also cut dairy completely out of their diet for a few weeks and saw immediate results (almost no coughing). In fact, they seemed like they were “all better”, so I let them have a bit of cheese and yogurt this week and they have started coughing again. High doses of vitamin C seem to be helping to ward off other infections (common cold, etc.) that might otherwise invade their compromised respiratory tract right now, too.

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  15. Thank you for this very informative post…was looking up symptoms of whooping cough and ran across your blog. I am definitely going to try out your home remedies for my little ones (their colds just won’t go away…could it be whooping cough? Hmmmmmm?) Thank you once again! I am subscribing too…great blog! :)

  16. My one year old I believe has cone down with whooping cough. He is perfectly fine and happy until his coughing fits, Which are usually worse at night. Sometimes he coughs till he chokes :(. It started 30 days ago and seems to be at is worst right now. My sons also started out as a cold followed by a nasty cough. Were treating it naturally or trying anyway. I juice him kale carrot parsley and an apple and or a kiwi and I add it raw organic vitamin C. I will definitely be making this stew tonight. I wanted to ask though if your sons coughing fits made him choke or not be able to breathe for a few seconds??? How long until this is over? ?? This is so scary and I’ve never met anyone whose treated it naturally. My family thinks I’m crazy.

  17. Hi, I have a 7 month old who possibly has whooping cough and am wondering with giving vitamin C to him can you put this in his food or does it have to go in his milk? Also with the tumeric how much should you add to the cough mixture?
    Thanks so much

    • I think I used 1/2 to 1 tsp of turmeric in the cough mix and I used maple syrup for my little guy who was under a year old.

      Not sure on the vitamin C dosage for little ones.

  18. Wow ! ! All I can say is thank you sooo much for writing your blog and whooping cough experiences… it has gotten myself and our 3 and 8 year old through without meds and each day they visibly get healthier and stronger, and less coughing. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING !!

  19. It was great to read your herbal remedies. I do not vaccinate my family and every other website pushes vaccination to prevent whooping cough. Thank you for sharing your experience using food/herbs to heal! =D

      • Hi Gwen, I took my little one to emergency yesterday as she passed out on me from coughing so much.. they said she didn’t have whooping cough as she hasn’t got a fever,just like your babe she looked pretty healthy.. until too days ago she was running around playing with other kids, until she would start coughing..over the last few days she is a bit more tired now… I have been looking at loads of stuff.. and figured that she does have it.. so am going to do your diet..
        she is already on the thyme, honey, ginger tea.. but needs something more potent.. so will try your cough syrup too.. she hates garlic but i think it might be a great way of being able to get it into her system.. poor thing she is really really fed up of the horrible coughing.. its pretty scary too as a mum.. especially when she passed out on me!
        i have a double whammy though.. as she and my husband also have thread worms.. !!
        needless to say i haven’t had much sleep for the last few weeks..
        like you i have been up for hours now researching into who to cure her.. thanks for all the tips.. xx
        I think that some of the same herbs that work for the whooping cough also help expel the worms right?.. Fennel.. garlic, turmeric..
        also papaya seeds ..
        and we moved house two days ago too..
        I thought i had had whooping cough but have just found out that i only had the jab.. so…. am feeling fairly rough so will make a bit batch of food and syrup for me and the hubby too. xx
        Georgie

  20. Hi Gwen,
    I too had whooping cough several months ago, and I was quite unwell. Not sleeping and coughing night and day long can be quite unpleasant. Still, once the doctor made the diagnosis, I started taking the garlic, onion and turmeric, and … started to sleep :) I saw the doctor several days after I started the treatment, and I was perfectly fine, as I could get my sleep and all, and he started to doubt his diagnosis, as ” I was not supposed to feel good, so maybe I did not have whooping cough after all”. Well, it was not what my blood tests said, but still he was not convinced. I tried to explain that I take some natural products, and at this point he got really agressive, saying that absolutely nothing will help, not even 100mg of cortisone, as he already tried…

    Of course I still coughed a bit, being left out of breath once or twice a day, and it took some time to get better, but it was not even close to what it was before taking the garlic/turmeric syrup. So thank you for your advice, as it really helped

  21. This is not a natural cure, but if you get desperate, I just wanted to let people know that I cured my son’s whooping cough (pertussis) with a nasal steroid (Nasonex). But I believe any nasal steroid would work. Nasal steroids are meant for the sinuses, but you need to try to get the steroid to the back nasal / bronchial area where the bacteria are lodged. I just had my son slowly breathe back through his nose ONLY as I was spraying it in so the medicine would travel past his sinuses and into the bronchial passage. He was 4 years old, and I gave him 2 sprays in each nostril 2 times a day; once in the morning and once in the evening. In the evening I had him lie flat on his back to try to get it to drip to the back of the bronchial area. The whooping cough was gone after 4 doses. I prayed and I believe God directed me to the Nasal steroid. My son only had the cough for about 4 days. Nasal steroids are pretty safe and I would have given it to my child even if he were an infant to save him from that whoop!!! I would probably have a baby lie flat after spraying it in to get it back as far as possible. I told my Doctor how it cured my son, but he just scoffed. I Guess because it’s not in the medical books, it really does
    not work!?! Well, this really worked for me; I hope it will help others.

  22. Hi Gwen, I will definitely be starting the garlic for myself as a preventative, but I had a question about my daughter who is 6 and a half months old. She caught a pretty yucky cold from my family about a week ago and is still coughing pretty nasty.. I don’t think she has pertussis but I’m not sure (she is not vaccinated), she just has some nasty congestion and small coughing fits.. I’m not sure how I would do a preventative for her..? Do I feed her some garlic juice? (if that’s even a thing) She’s breastfeed and I have just started BLW (Baby led weaning) with her so she gets a small amount of food but still gets most all of her nutrition and stuff from nursing. So maybe if I take enough garlic it will pass on to her??? Would love to hear what you think. I love this post btw. :)

    • The colds going around this year (and flu) are both hitting the lungs pretty hard, so it may just be that and not pertussis.

      When I was a kid, my Mom gave me some VERY unpleasant home remedies, and that left a literal bad taste in my mouth about trying natural things as a young adult. So I’m pretty insistent that remedies be palatable around here. :)

      Have you seen the cough remedy that I make for my littles? Under a year old, I’d use maple syrup instead of honey, but it’s loaded with good healthy stuff and my kids and hubby actually LIKE it and ask for it.

      I have a more in depth post about the properties of garlic here: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/garlic-remedies/
      and a great post on how we use onions for congestion here: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/onion-remedies/

  23. Wow! Soup recipe worked on my 5 month old within 48 hours. I started feeding it yesterday morning. Cough was lessened throughout day & I had a doc appt this am. They could not find anything wrong! I’m just so amazed & thankful that this worked & my little one is back to her happy spirit! Thank you!!

    • Oh, I pureed the soup for her using the magic bullet, & ate the soup myself since I am still breast feeding & practicing baby led feeding. I also added extra beta 1,3- glucan in powder form that I had as a vitamin supplement. I also took additional vitamin A , C, & beta 1,3-glucan myself.

  24. I believe I might be in the very beginning stage of something, maybe whooping cough? My husband has been sick for a few days now, might be flu, coughing up a storm. Hopefully it will pass but my 2 month old is starting to get congested and coughs every so often to clear her throut. We decided not to vaccinate (w/a possible delayed schedule). What can I do to help her? She is solely brestfed. I can bottle feed if I pump. I will make your stew in hopes to pass her the great benifits through my milk. Possibly any other suggestions? Could I add turmeric to the breast milk? I don’t want to harm her since she’s so young. You input would be great. Thank you.

    • This years flu has a strong chest congestion component. You can certainly use some of the remedies that I mention here, but I’d also be in touch with her doctor about any chest congestion in your little one. I’d specifically ask what to look/listen for with her breathing to assess when a situation would warrant emergency attention.

      I would also focus on getting plenty of vitamin C and D as a nursing Mama, and enjoying nourishing foods that will carry through the milk.

      Bless you and your little one. ♥

    • The pattern you’re describing with your husband doesn’t sound like whooping cough, but chest infections are nothing to play around with either, and I’d be working actively to avoid that situation.

  25. I know this is an old post, but I’ve just got to say how much this has helped my kiddos out! A month ago my 2 yr old caught what I thought was just a common cold until 2 weeks later it turned for the worst. I didn’t know what to do, I had no clue what it could have been. My mother in law is a Certified Natural Health Professional and we went through a list of stiff and though we narrowed it down to allergic reaction. I checked the carpet in the kid’s bedroom because our AC leaked during the summer and I found mold growing. We ripped up the carpet and put an air purifier in there. Still she wasn’t getting better. Then my boys began coughing. I then decided to look up Whopping Cough and bingo! Matched symptoms to the “T”. I admit, I was terrified and cried. I begged God to heal my children and he assured me He was healing them and the way He was doing it they were going to be much stronger. I felt such peace and began researching treatments with my mother in law. I came across your blog and I had everything I needed to make the soup. It was so easy and it was delicious!!! My picky son even liked it…well, just one bowl of it. haha

    My MIL saw the link you updated with about Vitamin C and it had to of been the Lord looking out for us because a few days before we discovered it was WC she had dropped off 3 jars of powered Vitamin C Ascorbates. I immediately began pumping them with Vitamin C. It may seem like a lot, but according to the 350mg per kg dosage my 4 yr old gets 5,000mg, 2 yr old gets 4,000mg and my 6 month old gets 2,000mg. Yeah….ALOT! However, since they are under attack their bodies need every bit of it. I definitely see a difference while using it. One major coughing spell a night and only small coughs the rest of the time. Since it’s been a month already for my daughter she no longer needs as much Vitamin C. I’ve reduced her dosage by half.

    I also wanted to note that we used Colloidal Silver (Silver Shield from Nature’s Sunshine) as our natural antibiotic. 1 teaspoon 5-7x a day for a week then half teaspoon 3x a day the next week. If you do probiotics as well, alternate them, don’t take at same time. Plus some liquid herbs such as Elderberry, Golden Seal, Oregon Grape, and C.H.E.- B. from Pure Herbs LTD.

    So far everything is working wonderfully considering we’re fighting WC. I read horror stories of how it can be, but I truly believe when you have the knowledge to battle it with the abundant natural resources all around you, it wont be so bad and the lifetime immunity is the light at the end of the tunnel. :D

    Again, thank you for your blog. It helped me to not freak out knowing others have been through what we’re dealing with and it’s a learning experience that we can share with others.

    • So glad you found my write up helpful. :) It’s neat to hear how others treat and the results. I had great results with the turmeric, but didn’t know about the vitamin C trick at the time.

      • Hi Gwen! Thinking about making this for my 7 month old… Did you cook and then puree it, and how did you serve it to your little one?? Thank you!

        • Yes. I made it as a stew, and then used my immersion blender to puree it right in the pot. :) Easy peasy. And you can freeze the extras in ice cube trays, and thaw out a few cubes at a time. I loved using the little one cup wide mouth canning jars, and would thaw enough food for a few days when my guy was little.

  26. Hi Gwen, Thank you for your post. I’ve been doing some research and the cough supposedly lasts up to 100 days. Even if the cough stops, I’ve been reading treatment must continue up until 3 months. Have you found that to be the case with your children?

  27. Thank you for posting this. Would you change anything if you were exclusively nursing? My little guy is only 5 months, and I don’t necessarily think its whooping cough, but he has a bad cough.

  28. my daughter has a sensitivity to garlic that makes her vomit, is there another component that could be added to the cough syrup and/or stew?

    • is she allergic in general? Garlic eaten raw can upset almost anyone’s stomach. Onion is a good sub, but from the same family, so I’d hesitate if she’s already sensitive to garlic.

    • Lots of people who are vaccinated for whooping cough get it anyway…similar to flu shots. My vaccinated kids actually got this first.
      I’m grateful for finding natural ways of helping them at home.

  29. Hi Gwen,
    Our daughter has just been diagnosed with pertussis and we are 3 weeks in (since the cough started). So far it only got bad for a few nights when we got a secondary sinus infection-that’s when the whooping and vomiting occurred and now it has stopped. We are using the remedies in addition to the mega C and she seems pretty good other than the odd coughing fit. My question is about school? If your kids go to public school how did they and the teacher deal with the add coughing fit and need to spit up to get phlegm out? Also did you give them your cough syrup to take to school to ward attacks off? Did it last 100 days with your kids using remedies? I’m thinking she is fine at school as long as she doesn’t have a secondary infection?

    Thanks Gillian

    • We had whooping cough during the summer, so I couldn’t weigh in on how to handle that. That’s a tough one. Your school nurse could probably help you brainstorm ideas though.

  30. Hi Gwen!, I’m also a THM mama, so I was thrilled to see your name pop up when I was researching natural remedies for WC. My 23mo seems to have it, and I think my 3.5yo is in the beginning coughing stage. I’ll be shopping for soup ingredients and Vit C today. Thank you for not only posting your recipe, but also the linked articles for Vit C and essential oils. I’m 27 weeks pg, so I’m preparing myself to deal with this as well as possible while not exhausting myself. WC seems to be going around my church, with 6 cases in 3 families. I’ll be passing along this information to them. Thanks again, I’ll have to check back and let you know how it goes.

    • Both my 12yo and 10 yo were fully vaccinated. At 6, my son got chicken pox even though he received varicella vax. Today both kids have whooping cough even though dtap and tdap received. No guarantees. Dr says vax are wearing off after 7-10 years. No need to be so close minded. Even the medical community knows its not certain…
      thankful for people sharing alternatives. Thank you Gwen and all other natural advocates out there. Modern medicine sometimes fails us.

    • I noticed that you seem to be trolling the comments on this site. Most of us are simply trying to care for our families the best way possible. Your goal seems to be showing everyone how ignorant you are. We get it! Whooping cough so called “outbreaks” happen every year, everywhere regardless of immunizations. The ones catching it are the non immunized and immunized alike. The vaccine is one of the least effective vaccines in use and has more side effects than most. Please stop calling people stupid for actually trying to care for their children. Maybe instead of wasting your time you could do some of your own research.

  31. Thanks so much for the articles! Great info! I was wondering if you had any thoughts on vitamin c dosage during whooping cough for a pregnant woman?
    Thanks!

  32. Gwen thank you for your info and your share. My question is, would there be a substitute for onions and yeasts? My child is allergic to onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and yeasts constipate her terribly. She is fine but I want to gather info should anything happen.

    Maria

    • Hi Maria,
      In that case, I’d leave off those ingredients, and simply use the others instead. And you may want to look for a Dr. who understands the methylation pathways, and have her tested for a mutation in her sulfur processing pathway. ♥

  33. Hi! I have a question about the stew recipe. My understanding was that any type of dairy will cause a mucus production. So the 2T of butter in the recipe makes me wonder if I should replace it with a different fat. Coconut oil? Or olive oil? Would either of these work? Or is this such a low dose of dairy that I shouldn’t worry about it? Thank you for your information!!

    • The issue with dairy lies on the type of dairy proteins in the milk. Since butter contains very little in the way of proteins, I’d not be concerned with it unless the person has a dairy allergy. If you’d like to know more about dairy proteins and the type that causes mucous production, look up A1 and A2 dairy. :) It’s a fascinating topic!

  34. So thankful I found your blog post. Bless you for sharing it. I was exposed to whooping cough 8 days ago. I have a garlic clove in my mouth right now. I’m hoping you are still checking this post because would you mind telling me how much turmeric you put in your lemon/honey cough syrup? And do you use the raw honey for that?

    • Hi Jill,
      I put between a 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric into the cough syrup. I do use raw honey for our family. When my youngest was a baby I made his with maple syrup instead of honey.

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