Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough

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Whooping Cough is currently on the rise in our country.  Being that it is showing itself among the unvaccinated and the vaccinated alike, the pertussis vaccination is not proving itself as a protective means of avoiding this dreaded disease.  In fact, according to this study, over 80% of children who developed whooping cough during the study were fully vaccinated.   For more information on vaccinations, you can follow the vaccination series that I have started.

What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping Cough is a very contagious bacterial disease.  It can be serious and even life-threatening.  This cough begins simple and gradually grows to be more serious.  The first 2 weeks of this disease are very contagious.  People often don’t know they have whooping cough in the first stage, thinking they have the common cold, which is why it can spread so quickly.  This disease has the name it does because often when a person quickly inhales and tries to breathe during a coughing spell, it creates a whooping noise.  One of the greatest concerns with whooping cough is a person developing pneumonia.  

How is Whooping Cough Transmitted?

  • Direct contact with an infected person
  • Touching something an infected person has touched
  • Breathing the air when an infected person has coughed or sneezed
  • Being around a child who has just had a pertussis vaccine

Stage 1 of Whooping Cough {First 2 weeks}

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Low fever
  • Slight cough

Stage 2 of Whooping Cough {Weeks 3-6, lasts at least 2-4 weeks}

  • Cough worsens into violent bursts of coughing
  • Patient may cough up to 30 times a day, especially at night
  • It may be temorarily impossible to breathe during a coughing spell due to the violent coughing, sometimes causing the person to turn blue
  • Patient may cough until they throw up
Stage 3 of Whooping Cough: The Recovery Stage
  • Recovery is gradual
  • Cough usually disappears over the next 2 to 4 weeks
  • Patient may have respiratory infections for months after
  • Though the patient is better, the cough may sound worse and louder


Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough

The only thing medically that can be currently given for whooping cough is antibiotics, which is only shown to help within the first 5 days of the disease when a person typically thinks they only have a cold.  Antibiotics has not seemed to have any benefit against whooping cough after the first 5 days.  Besides antibiotics not being effective after the first few days, I personally would not recommend antibiotics for this disease because it suppresses the immune system and kills the good body flora.  This good flora provides 70% of the body’s immune system, so the last thing we want is to kill it!  You need a healthy immune system to fight this disease and build a natural immunity to it.  There are some natural remedies that can make a great difference in the severity and duration of this disease without harming the body’s immune system.  These remedies will actually boost the immune system God gave us to fight sickness!

  • Natural antibiotic, such as colloidal silver.  Colloidal silver kills bacterial infections and also boosts the immune system.  I would personally administer a dose 3-5 times a day at least, or even hourly if bad enough.   You can also rub garlic oil on the bottoms of the feet.  {Thanks for the advice, Jessica :)} Garlic is a natural antibiotic.
  • Flax tea is said {in Be Your Child’s Pediatrician} to stop whooping cough in its tracks!  Grind up flax seeds into a flour consistency. {I like to use a coffee grinder for this – but use whatever works!}  For children, stir 1/2 tablespoon of this ground flax into 1/2 cup of water.  For adults, stir 1 tablespoon of ground flax into 1 cup of water.  Have the patient sip on this liquid until gone.  Repeat this a couple times a day.  It is said to stop or alleviate the cough in 3-4 days.  For children, it may be a good idea to mix this with juice so they more readily drink it.
  • Vitamin C Therapy – taking vitamin C in high doses does not stop whooping cough, but it helps make the cough much milder.  When using this therapy, you will know that you are giving too much if the patient has diarrhea – simply back off the dose a bit.  Don’t be scared of taking too much vitamin C!  It will not hurt you.  You will just know to back off a bit if there are loose bowel issues.  According to Master Herbalist Rachel Weaver, if you are taking the high doses of vitamin C, you should see a 2/3 reduction in coughing within 8 hours.  Adults take 10 grams of vitamin C every day spread out over waking hours.  10 grams equals 2 tsp.  Children should take 90-170 mg. of vitamin C per pound of weight.  {1/2 tsp. = 2,500 mg.} So if a child weighs 50 lb., they would take about 1 tsp. a day.  If the cough is not reducing within 8 hours, up the dose a bit as long as there is no diarrhea.  My recommendation is to buy a good powdered vitamin C.
  • Do not use cough suppressants!  According to Dr. Suzanne Humphries, you will end up with pneumonia if you do.  We don’t want to suppress the cough – we want to cough the mucus out!
  • Lung herbs – one of my very favorite remedies for lung problems is a Dr. Christopher formula I mix together.  It has greatly helped in our household with coughs and congestion!  The herbs in the formula expel mucus to help prevent pneumonia, while soothing irritated and inflamed tissues.  You can read about this formula here.
  • Homemade Cough Syrup – you can find instructions here.
  • I am a DIY person, but you can purchase products for the lungs, such as ALJ Syrup, or Dr. Christopher’s Lung Formula.

*And definitely don’t hesitate taking your child to the doctor if needed. 🙂

Have you experienced whooping cough?  I would love you to share what has worked for you!


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*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor professional.  Nothing I say has been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. 

Be Your Child’s Pediatrician
Dr. Suzanne Humphries
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.


  1. says

    When 2 of my kids caught whooping cough (one was 6 an the other was 1) I didn’t know it was whooping cough so I just started to use garlic oil on their feet an vicks on their chests an backs then I realized it was whooping cough so every morning an evening I repeated the garlic on their feet an vicks on them an then I put steamers into their rooms the garlic got rid of the whoop almost within a week the garlic draws out the flem an cough so once the whoop was gone all that was left was a chesty cough, I just kept the steamer an vicks an garlic oil up until they were better.
    Grated Apple for them to eat an kids multi vitamins an vitamin c an plenty of water.
    I never took my kids anywhere we just stayed home for weeks an I got my family to get me things at the shop.

  2. says

    None of these are suitable for tiny babies, who are the most vulnerable to this. Medical treatment for them is advisable. I have seen a 4 week old baby with pertussis and it was very frightening and the baby needed serious medical help.

    • says

      I would give the silver and rub garlic oil on a small baby. I would recommend the nursing mother to personally consume the doses of vitamin C and flax tea to pass it on to her infant. I also would not hesitate to take my child to the doctor if needed. 🙂

    • says

      I agree with you Jill. Recently my 5 girls all got very sick. My youngest was 9 months old and I have no doubt that I kept that little baby out of the hospital by diligently rubbing homemade garlic salve (fresh garlic, olive oil, organic coconut oil and lavender eo) on her chest and her back every 1-2 hours. The garlic broke up her mucus, allowing her to cough. I also read many other stories where tiny infants even younger than 4 weeks old were cured from severe illnesses using only the garlic rub. The key I believe is the parents diligence in staying on top of this and doing it often which can be daunting, but so worth it! Garlic is amazing stuff! It’s also proven safe enough for little ones. However, the hospital isn’t always safe. I only take my children there if it is a major emergency. If a cough starts in my home I start fighting it right then and there. I don’t wait for it to progress.

  3. Amy Vergin says

    Rubbing a Lavender essential oil and coconut oil mix on chest/throat works wonderfully. It was the only think that stopped it, and returned my voice!

  4. Christie says

    Interesting article! Thanks you, Jill, for the information. At what age would you recommend starting the flax tea directly for the child versus the nursing mom taking it? If the baby is 10 months or older and can drink somewhat from a cup or a sippy cup, would that be okay or would it be better for the nursing mom to take the tea?

  5. says

    how would you know what dose of silver to give an infant under 1? I’m just learning about silver and I’m curious, I will have a newborn at the beginning of summer and I’m concerned about going into the winter season with a small baby.

  6. Anonymous says

    I love you for writing this. I currently have 5 children with whooping cough, ages 1, 3, 5, 6 and 8. There are definitely some new ideas here I am going to try. Thank you so much! We’ve been fighting this for almost 2 months now, so I’m hoping some of these new ideas will make the difference. Thanks again!

    • says

      I will check out this respiratory tincture! I plan to make the lung herbs into a tincture soon for longer storage. I still love it in tea form though – it’s so simple to add to juice when my girls have respiratory illness and it works wonders! Thanks for sharing – I love finding new formulas! 🙂

  7. says

    thank you so much for this post! i thought my 8 month old was on the tail end of a cold, but in the middle of the night he started sounding like he had bronchitis and then developed a cough. just to be safe, i’m going to try several of these methods! i was wondering though – is there a brand of vitamin c you recommend? i’ve never bought a powdered supplement before and don’t know what’s best. thank you!

  8. says

    This is good stuff to know! Our children (5, 3 1/2, 1 1/2) all have colds right now that I’m hoping don’t get any worse. I had whooping cough when I was 13 (was vaccinated but the vaccine wore off) so I know what to listen for!
    Thanks Jill. =)

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