Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can affect children and adults of any age. It’s a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched sound when the infected person struggles to breathe. This is how whooping cough gets its name.
As with most illnesses, pertussis spreads through close contact with a person who is infected, usually through sneezing or coughing. Recently, researchers identified a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis as the cause of whooping cough. These bacteria attach to the cilia that line the upper respiratory system. The bacteria then release toxins that damage the cilia and cause the airways to swell. (1)
Whooping cough symptoms usually develop within 5-10 days after a person has been exposed. The disease starts off with cold-like symptoms that develop into a cough and fever. In fact, there are three stages of the pertussis disease. (2)
The Stages Of Whooping Cough Symptoms
1. Catarrhal Stage – After 5-10 days, whooping cough symptoms begin to develop. In the first stage, symptoms include inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways along with a low-grade fever and a mild cough that gradually becomes more severe.
2. Paroxysmal Stage – In the second stage, the cough becomes sudden and intense. Whooping cough becomes so rapid that it’s difficult to expel the mucus from the lungs. This stage of whooping cough causes the high-pitched noise at the end of the cough. It can also cause vomiting and exhaustion.
3. Convalescent Stage – By the third stage, whooping cough is characterized by gradual recovery. It usually lasts for about 7-10 days. The coughing attacks become less persistent and finally disappear in 2-3 weeks.
9 Natural Whooping Cough Treatments
An amazing herb, ginger is able to boost the immune system to help the body break down toxins. It also boasts powerful antibacterial properties that work to cleanse the lymphatic system and heal the respiratory system. Furthermore, ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can help calm the cough. (3)
2. Raw Honey
Next, raw honey makes a natural whooping cough treatment thanks to its antibacterial properties. Anyone over the age of two can take 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey at bedtime to help treat whooping cough. (4)
Turmeric, another common spice, is also known for its ability to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In fact, it can be used to help rid the body of toxins and reduce inflammation in the throat and lungs caused by whooping cough. (5)
While probiotics are known to help with digestion, they also support the body’s immune system. Probiotics contain helpful bacteria that protect the body against disease and infection. Consuming probiotics such as kefir, kombucha, natto and kimchi can also help strengthen the immune system. (6)
5. Licorice Root
Licorice root has antimicrobial properties that can help reduce coughing and naturally relieve a sore throat. But use with caution, as people who have high blood pressure should avoid using licorice root.
6. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a natural antibacterial that supports the health of the respiratory system. Older children and adults can take oregano oil internally for a maximum of two weeks as a natural whooping cough treatment. Dilute 1-2 drops with water or coconut oil and take once daily. (7)
Another beneficial product is peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil can be infused to help unclog the sinuses and relieve a sore throat. The menthol in peppermint oil can also soothe the throat and help reduce the severity of coughing attacks.
8. Cedarwood Oil
An excellent stress reliever, cedarwood essential oil can also help reduce congestion caused by whooping cough. Simply rub 2 drops of cedarwood oil onto the chest and throat before bed to help with breathing. (8)
9. Rest and Fluids
When fighting any serious infection, it’s important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Do not engage in physical activity until symptoms disappear. Drink water, coconut water, and herbal tea to keep your body hydrated.