Feb 20, 2016
What Is Croup?
Typically considered a childhood health concern, croup is the infection of the upper airway that is characterized by obstructed breathing and a distinctive “barking” croup cough. Generally occurring in the fall and winter, croup causes swelling and narrowing of the voice box, windpipe, and the breathing tubes that are connected to the lungs. This swelling and constriction can make breathing difficult for the affected child.
While a croup attack may be scare, it is not typically considered medically serious and can often be treated at home. Often beginning as the “common cold,” croup develops as inflammation and coughing progress. Coughing is typically worse at night and can be provoked by crying, anxiety, and agitation. Additional symptoms include fever, sore throat, hoarse voice, and noisy or labored breathing.
Usually caused by a viral infection, the most common cause of croup is parainfluenza virus. The virus may be contracted by breathing in infected respiratory droplets that have been coughed or sneezed into the airspace. The virus may also exist on toys and other frequently touched surfaces. Infection typically begins in the nasal passage and spreads to the vocal cords and windpipe.
Natural Treatment Options and Remedies for Croup
As scary as the croup cough and labored breathing may sound, less than 5 percent of patients develop airway obstruction serious enough to necessitate hospitalization or serious medical treatment. As such, natural treatment options typically do just the trick to cure croup. Natural treatment options include aconite, honey and cinnamon, hydrogen peroxide, and a mixture of sugar and turpentine. Additionally, changing the diet to remove added sugar and eliminate dairy may also eradicate some of the mucus causing the coughing and inflammation typical of croup. Treating possible allergens with local honey and drinking additional water to remain well hydrated also cure the croup cough and condition.
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Remedies for Croup
Both my boys have allergies and both had croup regularly as young children with difficulties breathing. Initially I tried the steroids which worked but only by suppressing the immune system. I looked for an alternative. I found the homeopathic remedy Aconite worked a treat on both of them and they would be back to sleep with regular breathing within 1/2 an hour.
My 4 year old son began the croup cough last night. He woke up crying. I read somewhere that honey and cinnamon was good for a cough. My husband used it for a cough he had for about 3 months that wouldn't go away and it worked for him. My son doesn't like cinnamon, but he took the honey. We sat up for a little and his cough entirely went away. We put him back to bed. He coughed maybe once or twice the rest of the night. He's been fine all day today and is currently sleeping like a baby! Hope this works for someone else!
I am a new mom and two days ago my 15 month old woke up with a cough I'd never heard before. It didn't respond to any of my usual remedies and he coughed so much he didn't nap at all. Upon going online I realized it must be croup (he never had a fever though). I tried a number of things and yesterday he had a 3 hour nap and slept 12 hours through the night last night. I don't know what worked, but here is what I did:
*1 tsp molasses in warm water in his bottle for dehydration, once/day
*The garlic salve described on this site applied to his chest and feet. On the 2nd day I noticed he was getting a rash from it though so I stopped it.
* 2 drops of oregano oil mixed with a small amount of carrier oil, applied to soles of feet at bedtime
*humidifier in room with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in it
*few drops of oil of echinacea in crib at bedtime
* cut-up onion beside bed (I mix a bit of honey into it so that it makes "syrup" over night)
*onion syrup - I give the juice that collects by dropperful- I'd say about 1.5 tsp a day but you could give more than that. It breaks up congestion and helps with cough
*because he doesn't always want to take straight honey I mixed about 2 tsp with 8 oz water in his bottle and he had a bit over the day - my theory is it helps with the sore throat, cough, and also with dehydration.
I also gave ibuprofen after a warm bath at bedtime.
The first night we were up twice sitting in the bathroom with the shower going on hot, his cough was so bad. Yesterday he still had the croup cough but last night he didn't cough at all during the night and today it's broken to a normal "wet" cough and he's sleeping well.
Replied by P B
Posted by Rachel (Redfield, Ks) on 09/24/2010
My son recently woke up with a croup cough, difficulty breathing, and stridor. It hit him suddenly and he showed no signs of a cold beforehand. That night he wouldn't take any medicine so I sat up with him in the recliner with the humidifier. Once I turned the humidifier on, he returned to normal breathing with no cough in about 20 minutes. Now I run the air purifier during the day and the humidifier at night. I keep his room as dust-free as I can. I took down the venetian blinds, vacuum often, change bedding... Etc. Also, my son loves honey, so I let him eat as much unprocessed, local honey as he wants. This helps with the allergens. I think, for my son, it was the allergens that caused the croup cough. If you figure out what is causing the cough and treat that, instead of trying to just treat the cough, you can control it more easily.
Replied by Addylynn
Posted by Nivchek (Rochester, Ny Usa) on 01/03/2011
Hydration is a huge factor in croup. My 5 year old son woke tonight with a horrible choking croup cough. We took a urine sample and measured the salt and sugar levels. They were very high, which means dehydration. You can't tell this from the color of the urine. We gave him distilled water to drink slowly over the course of 10-20 minutes and he recovered beautifully. Cough disappeared and no more rasping either. Thanks be to God for water and RBTI!