Whooping cough is a pretty infectious respiratory tract infection. Severe hacking cough associated with the high-pitched intake of breath indicates whooping cough. The intake of breath during whooping cough sessions often sounds like ‘whoop’, hence the name ‘whooping cough’. Before the vaccine became available, whooping cough was a childhood disease. Now whooping cough generally affects children who are not old enough to have completed the full vaccination course. It also affects adults and teenagers with faded immunity. However, there are natural remedies for whooping cough to help you or your little ones deal with its symptoms.

You will learn the following from this post:

What is Whooping Cough?

Another term for whooping cough is ‘pertussis’, a bacterial infection that attacks your throat and nose. These bacteria can spread easily, but you can get rid of them with early vaccines like DTaP (an abbreviation for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) and TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria), and pertussis), which can protect children and adults from having it.

If your cough becomes uncontrollable and you experience a whooping sound each time you take your breath, it may be an indication or sign that you have contracted whooping cough. Whooping cough can lead to coughing spells and difficulty in breathing. In some cases, whooping cough may become life-threatening.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Whooping cough usually begins like the common cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, or congestion. In some cases, you may notice a mild fever or cough. A severe cough starts after a week or a fortnight. The period between the initial infection and whooping cough becoming noticeable is often about 5 to 10 days. In the case of some people, symptoms of whooping cough may not surface for as long as 3 weeks.

These conditions are some of the most common symptoms of whooping cough:

  • Nail beds, tongue, and lips turning blue during a coughing spell
  • Watery, sore eyes
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing rapidly and violently, until the air has departed from the lungs and you have to inhale, resulting in a ‘whooping’ sound

Whooping cough may last up to three months and can result in other complications like pneumonia. Because the symptoms of whooping cough can resemble other medical conditions, it will be smart to talk to your doctor to know if you have the condition and to determine the best natural remedies for whooping cough you can use.

After a week or two of having the disease, the signs and symptoms of whooping cough worsen. The inside of your airways accumulates thick mucus, which results in uncontrollable coughing. Severe and unending coughing attacks may:

  • End with a loud ‘whoop’ sound during the next intake of breath
  • Result in extreme fatigue
  • Cause a red or blue face
  • Trigger vomiting

Some people do not develop the characteristic whoop sound when they cough, even though they have whooping cough. In some cases, a constant hacking cough is the only indication that an adult or adolescent has whooping cough. Little kids may not cough at all; rather than coughing, they may have problems breathing, or they may temporarily stop breathing.

Causes of Whooping Cough

A type of bacteria known as Bordetella pertussis is the significant cause of whooping cough. When a person infected sneezes or coughs, the air temporarily carries tiny germ-laden droplets, and anyone nearby may breathe the germs into their lungs. As soon as the bacteria enter your airways, they grab onto the tiny hairs in the linings of the lungs. The bacteria then results in inflammation and swelling that leads to a long-lasting, dry cough and several other cold-like symptoms.

Although pertussis can easily spread from one person to another, children and adults suffering from it – or those prone to having it – can get rid of it with vaccination.

Risk Factors Associated with Whooping Cough

The vaccine for whooping cough you receive as an infant eventually wears off. This is why many adults and teenagers become susceptible to the infection when there is an outbreak. Children below a year old but are unvaccinated or have not gotten the complete set of the recommended vaccines have the highest risk for some severe complications and possibly even death.

Complications Associated with Whooping Cough

Adults and teenagers usually recover from whooping cough without complications. When, in rare cases, there is an occurrence of complications, the complications are often side effects of strenuous coughing. Such complications could be:

  • Ruptured blood vessels in the white parts of your eyes or the skin
  • Abdominal hernias
  • Cracked or bruised ribs


There may be more severe complications of whooping cough in children below six months old. Such complications may include:

  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss as a result of feeding difficulties or dehydration
  • Stopped or slowed breathing
  • Pneumonia

Because toddlers and infants are more susceptible to developing whooping cough, they are more likely to require hospital treatments or special natural remedies for whooping cough. In addition, the complications from whooping cough can threaten the lives of children younger than six months.

Preventing Whooping Cough

The surest and safest way to keep in check the development of whooping cough is with the shot of pertussis vaccine, which doctors often administer alongside vaccine against two other severe diseases, such as tetanus and diphtheria. Doctors recommend taking the vaccine during pregnancy.

The vaccine against whooping cough consists of a series of five injections children take at the following stages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 to 18 months
  • 4 to 6 years

The adverse effects of these vaccines are usually mild, but they may include soreness, fatigue, headache, crankiness or fever at the injection site. As a parent, you should not depend only on natural remedies for whooping cough for your infant. Therefore, the vaccine is very important to boost the effectiveness of the home remedies provided in this post.

10 Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough

10 natural remedies for whooping cough

If you experience uncontrollable coughs assisted with a whooping sound while finding it hard to breathe, you may have contracted whooping cough. The following are natural remedies for whooping cough you can use to treat the condition’s symptoms.

1. Essential Oils

A. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is very effective for treating sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and respiratory tract. Therefore, this oil may help reduce the severity of the symptoms of whooping cough.


  • 1 – 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • A tablespoon of any carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil


  • Combine the essential oil with any carrier oil you may have at home
  • Apply this mixture to both your back and chest
  • You can also drop some pints of eucalyptus oil in hot water and inhale the steam

Repeat this process twice each day.

B. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil contains antispasmodic, antiseptic, and antibacterial effects. All these effects may prove effective in the treatment of whooping cough and any symptoms associated with it


  • 1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil
  • A full tablespoon of any carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil


  • Combine peppermint oil with any carrier oil you desire
  • Apply the mixture to your back and chest
  • You can also choose to add some pints of peppermint oil to hot water and inhale the steam

You can do this one or twice each day.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best remedies for the treatment of whooping cough. Babies about six-month-old receive adequate amounts of vitamin C through breast milk. For children above six months old, the intake of vitamin C may increase through their diet. Adults need about 70 to 90 mg of vitamin C each day, while children need about 40 mg of the same vitamin C. Although you can choose vitamin C supplements, it is always better to increase the intake of the vitamin naturally through your diet.

3. Onion

Onions have antibacterial properties. These properties may assist in getting rid of whooping cough and improve a person’s overall immunity.


  • A medium-sized onion
  • A quarter cup of honey


  • Peel, rinse and chop the onion into small pieces
  • Blend these pieces and mix them with honey
  • Allow the mixture to sit overnight
  • Take a teaspoon of this mixture every couple of hours

You can do this as many times as you want in a day.

4. Garlic

The allicin in garlic has some antibacterial properties. These properties will effectively fight off the bacteria that cause whooping cough.


  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic
  • Honey (optional)


  • Crush the cloves of garlic
  • Extract the juice from it and consume it daily
  • You can decide to add honey to taste

You can follow this process 2 to 3 times each day.

5. Turmeric

The curcumin in turmeric has antimicrobial properties, which are effective for treating whooping cough, shortness of breath, and its symptoms.


  • A teaspoon of turmeric
  • A glass of hot milk


  • Pour a teaspoon of turmeric into a glass of hot mix. Make sure you stir it well for them to mix perfectly
  • Drink this mixture each day

You can follow the process twice daily.

6. Ginger

The gingerol in ginger is a compound that is a natural expectorant. In addition, this gingerol contains strong antibacterial properties, which may help fight the symptoms of whooping cough.


  • 1 to 2 inches of ginger
  • Honey (optional)


  • Grind the ginger, perhaps in a blender, to make a paste
  • – extract the juice from the ginger to drink each day
  • You can choose to add honey to taste, but it is not compulsory.

Follow the process twice each day for the best result.

7. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup contains antibacterial properties and has some chemical compounds that can improve a person’s immunity. In addition, the compound and its properties can help fight cold and whooping cough with its symptoms.


  • A teaspoon of the syrup
  • A full cup of fruit juice or warm water


  • Mix the syrup to a cup of warm water or fruit juice of your choice
  • Drink the mixture every day

You can do these three times each day for a week for maximum results.

8. Green Tea

The compounds polyphenols and catechins are present in green tea, and they possess strong antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. These properties may effectively eliminate the bacteria that cause whooping cough and cold.


  • A teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • A cup of hot water
  • Honey (optional)


  • Steep the leaves in a cup of the ready hot water for 10 minutes maximum
  • Add honey to taste if you want and drink the tea before it turns cold

You can follow this process two to three times each day.

9. Humidifier

Keeping your surroundings moist may reduce the severity of whooping cough. However, sometimes, dry environments trigger these coughs. Therefore, installing a humidifier in your room can help relieve the symptoms of whooping cough. You can also add essential oil to the humidifier for a speedy result.

10. Salt Water

Various researchers have discovered that using saltwater effectively relieves cough and cold symptoms. It does not matter if it is whooping cough or regular cough; saltwater is an excellent home remedy for treating coughs and their symptoms.


  •  1 to 2 teaspoons of salt
  • A cup of hot water


  • Pour a teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt) into a cup of hot water and stir well
  • Gargle with the water for a moment and spit it out

Always make sure you do this at least once daily.

Final Thoughts

All the natural remedies for whooping cough provided above can provide you and your little one relief from the symptoms of the condition. However, moderation is vital in using these remedies.

Post Disclaimer

The information contained in this post "Pertussis: 10 Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough" is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.

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