Whooping Cough

What Is Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis, is an extremely contagious respiratory tract infection that is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium.  People with Whooping Cough experience uncontrollable coughing along with a high-pitched intake of breath, which makes a "whooping-like" sound.  This condition can affect any person at any age, and it can be very deadly to infants and young children.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Whooping Cough used to be the primary cause of childhood deaths before the vaccine was available. 

Signs Of Whooping Cough

The incubation period of Whooping Cough is roughly 5-10 days, meaning that it can take that amount of time, or longer, for symptoms to appear.  Symptoms can mimic the common cold and be mild at first.  Some of those symptoms can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Watery eyes that are red
  • Nasal congestion

Symptoms can worsen after a week of experiencing the aforementioned initial symptoms.  Thick mucus can accumulate in the airways, causing uncontrollable coughing and making it difficult to breathe.  Sever symptoms can include:

  • Red or blue in the face
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • A high pitched "whoop" during each breath of air
What Causes Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough is a respiratory illness that is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium.  This type of bacterium attach to the ciliar (small hair-like extensions) in the upper respiratory system, releasing toxins that damage the cilia.  This causes the airways to become swollen and makes it difficult to breathe.  This only cause is:

  • Breathing in droplets from a sneeze/cough from an infected person

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Garlic is a powerful antiseptic that has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, expectorant, and antioxidant properties.  It is also a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C, and manganese and over 80 sulfur compounds.  The National Institutes of Health reported that boiling raw garlic cloves in water and sweetening that liquid with raw honey and ginger makes an effective natural cough syrup. 
  • A study published in FEMS Immunology and medical Microbiology found that immaturity of gut-associated immunity increased pediatric mortality from infections.  New evidence shows that probiotics increase healthy gut flora, which helps reduce inflammatory responses and defend against bacterial infections.  Great probiotics to consume include cultured vegetables, kefir, miso, and kombucha. 
  • Oregano oil is a superstar in the health world because it has powerful antibacterial properties.  According to several research studies, oregano oil contains a complex mixture of compounds that are more beneficial and less harmful than certain antibiotics.  Older children and adults can dilute 1-2 drops of oregano oil with water and take once daily, while infants or small children should not consume it.
  • When you are fighting an infection like Whooping Cough, your top two priorities are rest and fluids.  It is important to sleep a lot and refrain from physical activity until symptoms are gone.  It is also paramount to stay hydrated with water, herbal teas, and coconut water.  Since coughing can make it difficult to eat solid food, consider making smoothies, juices, or soups, all of which can boost hydration levels. 
  • Turmeric has been heavily studied because of its active ingredient, curcumin.  According to recent research at Michigan University, curcumin has a calming effect on cell activity, which helps to improve cellular responses like fighting infections.  It also contains vitamin C, potassium, anti-cancer properties, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which improve cellular health so that the body can better fight infections like Whooping Cough. 
  • Ginger is a powerful spice, containing antiparasitic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties.  These properties can help boost the immune system and provide internal warmth.  In fact, drinking ginger tea can promote sweating, which is one of the body's way of pushing toxins out.  In addition to soothing the respiratory tract, ginger can increase your appetite, which is important for people who develop infections. 
  • One of the best herbs for immune health is licorice root, which has been traditionally used to reduce coughing and enhance immune function.  The anti-inflammatory, soothing, and antimicrobial properties can help to soothe a sore throat, which is common in people with Whooping Cough.  It is not safe to take licorice root if you take blood pressure medication. 
Things you should eat
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Raw Honey (or Manuka Honey)
  • Garlic
  • Oregano Oil
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Fenugreek
  • Guava
  • Kiwis
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, & limes)
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Leafy Green Vegetables (spinach, chard, kale, & collards)


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