by Sharon Moran - Butterfly Expressions, llc
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to the common cold. The bacteria responsible for whooping cough produces a violent, uncontrollable coughing. This coughing, especially in infants and children, is so violent that the child may be unable to eat, drink, or in severe cases, even breathe.
The two bacteria strains that cause whooping cough are Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis. Whooping cough, like other bacterial infections, is an airborne illness which spreads from one infected person to another through bacteria-infected body fluids. Coughing can spread this disease quickly. Once inhaled, the bacteria begins to multiply. These bacteria also produce toxins which prevent the respiratory system from ridding itself of the germs. As a result, mucous begins to form and accumulate in the airways. It is this mucous buildup which leads to the violent coughing.
Since the symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to the common cold it is sometimes mistaken for a cold in the early stages. The violent coughing tends to develop a few days to a week or so after the person has been exposed to the bacteria. It takes the bacteria, and the resulting toxins, this long to produce the mucous which constricts the airway. Early symptoms appear as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, irritated eyes and a slight fever. More severe symptoms may include high fever, dehydration, vomiting, seizures and convulsions, pale or blue skin due to lack of oxygen.
After several days the symptoms worsen. The coughing can become uncontrollable. These coughing spells can leave the person feeling tired and out of breath. This uncontrolled coughing can even induce vomiting. The “whooping” sound is usually noted as the person fights and struggles for air. This “whooping” sound is one of the main identifiers for the disease. However, small infants may NOT display this distinctive symptom.
Treating whooping cough successfully requires early detection and diligence. Antibiotic oils and herbs should be utilized frequently and consistently. Supporting the immune system should be a priority.
The book, Butterfly Miracles with Herbal Remedies by LaRee Westover, has a great deal of helpful information regarding the use of herbs. Some specific herbs that can be used to treat whooping cough are:
Marshmallow root - stimulates the body to create mucilage. Mucilage is a thin film of mucous that coats the throat and the bronchial tubes. This decreases the sensations of tickling and itching that can trigger the coughing spells.
Mullein - is a unique herb which both dries and heals and soothes. It is an excellent expectorant as well as a protective agent.
Slippery Elm - helps to sooth mucous membranes throughout the body. It helps to remove excess mucous much faster and more gently than any other herb.
Lobelia - is a wonderful expectorant for deep, stubborn coughing. It can loosen tight mucous and helps clear the respiratory airways, allowing more oxygen to flow.
Other herbs that act as expectorants include: elecampane, licorice root, ginger, horehound, pleurisy root, myrrh, garlic, ginseng and red root.
WC, which was formerly Wild Cherry Cough Syrup, contains lobelia and many of the excellent herbs for coughs mentioned above. It is also an excellent expectorant.
Butterfly Express, llc, has several synergistically blended herbal formulas to target the lungs and the whole respiratory system. The book, Butterfly Miracles with Essential Oils, is a great desk reference on the use of essential oils.
Essential oil blends such as LeBreezey, LeAspire, LeMariah and LeStefanie help the whole respiratory system fight infections, coughs, congestion and mucous.
Oil blends that help fight infections include LeDeliverance, LeSpiceC, LePurify and LeSunburst. As with any imbalance within the body, the symptoms presenting in the individual should be treated, not the disease.
Homeopathic remedies can be added to help stimulate the body’s energy to heal itself. LaRee’s book, Butterfly Miracles with Homeopathic Remedies, explains in detail how these energetic remedies can be used to fight specific disease symptoms. Whooping cough and the homeopathics which treat the various symptoms of this disease, are covered on page 254 of that text.
Other things which can be employed to help with whooping cough symptoms include:
Using steam to help loosen the thick mucous stuck in the airways. Creating a “tent” with a towel or using the steam generated from the shower, allow the infected person ample time to breathe in the soothing, moist steam. An essential oil can be combined with the steam to effect healing deep into the lungs.
Plenty of fluids and ample rest are vitally important. Giving the body the proper nutrients to work with, will support the immune system and keep it as healthy as possible. It will also allow the body to bounce back from the illness more quickly with less scar tissue and permanent damage.