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Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough


Whooping cough is a distressing infection, since it strikes infants and young children. They are helpless to deal with it and parents feel helpless, standing idly by while their children suffer terribly.

It is basically a chronic cough, with a characteristic pattern, including a “whoop” noise upon inspiration.


Whooping cough is mainly due to a bacterium (Bordtella Pertussis) that spreads from an infected person in their cough droplets.

Outbreaks were reduced upon the introduction of the pertussis vaccine, although some children suffered permanent brain damage and protection, with some batches, has been poor. So many parents opted not to have their children vaccinated, leading to increased outbreaks around the world during the 1980s.

Signs & Symptoms

Pertussis causes an inflammation of the entire respiratory tract.

The incubation period lasts 1 - 3 weeks. At first the symptoms are the same as most other coughs and colds: a mild cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, sore eyes and fever. This is when the child is most contagious.

The cough gradually worsens, usually (although not always) with the characteristic sound. Infants are at risk of stopping their breathing. The coughing is so severe that children may vomit and the process can be very painful, straining chest and abdominal muscles. Airways can be permanently damaged and collapsed lungs do occur.

There is also a danger of dehydration.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Immune System Support

General Supplements

Vitamin C*        

*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Mucus-forming foods should be avoided.

Easily digested foods, possibly combined with digestive aids, are beneficial. This would include fruit and vegetable juices and soups.

Homeopathic Remedy

Drosera rotundifolia tinct.

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.


Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Herbal Approaches


Eucalyptus Oil (vaporizer)
Garlic/ Ginger (compress)
Slippery Elm Bark
Wild Cherry
Wild Hyssop

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.


Red clover is an expectorant and anti-spasmodic especially good for children (over the age of 2) with whooping cough.

Thyme is uniquely recommended by the German Commission E.


Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Basil Essence,Cypress Essence,Garlic Essence,
Lavender Essence,Niaouli Essence,Oregano Essence,
Rosemary Essence,Terebinth Essence,Thyme Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Childhood Diseases



Black S: Epidemiology of pertussis. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 1997 Apr, 16:4 Suppl, S85-9.

Boughton, CR: Pertussis vaccines: acellular versus whole-cell. Med J Aust 1996 May 6;164(9):564-6.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pertussis (Whooping Cough)--United States, January 1992-June 1995. JAMA 1995 Aug 9;274(6):450-1.

de Melker HE et al., Pertussis in The Netherlands: an outbreak despite high levels of immunization with whole-cell vaccine. Emerg Infect Dis, 1997 Apr-Jun, 3:2, 175-8.

Duncan-CJ et al: Whooping cough epidemics in London, 1701-1812: infection dynamics, seasonal forcing and the effects of malnutrition. Proc-R-Soc-Lond-B-Biol-Sci. 1996 Apr 22; 263(1369): 445-50.

Guris D et al., Effectiveness of the pertussis vaccination program as determined by use of the screening method: United States, 1992-1994. J Infect Dis, 1997 Aug, 176:2, 456-63.

He Q & Mertsola J: Epidemiology and prevention of pertussis. Curr Opin Pediatr, 1997 Feb, 9:1, 14-8.

Heijbel H et al., Cumulative incidence of childhood-onset IDDM is unaffected by pertussis immunization. Diabetes Care, 1997 Feb, 20:2, 173-5.

Hewlett EL: Pertussis: current concepts of pathogenesis and prevention. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 1997 Apr, 16:4 Suppl, S78-84.

Katoh, T:[Pertussis or whooping cough.] Nippon Rinsho 1994 Feb;Suppl 3:63-5.

Kumate J: Infectious diseases in the 21st century. Arch Med Res, 1997 Summer, 28:2, 155-61.

Pichichero ME & Treanor J: Economic impact of pertussis. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 1997 Jan, 151:1, 35-40.

Trollfors B & Taranger J: Towards better pertussis vaccines [editorial]. Ann Med, 1997 Apr, 29:2, 87-9.

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