Natural Remedies to Treat Croup Cough Permanently

Updated on February 28th, 2020
Croup

Croup is an infection in the upper airway that causes congestion and difficulty in breathing. The characteristic of a croup cough is a barking sound due to congestion of the throat. Croup is a common infection among children.

According to research(1), croup affects more than 3% of children in the United States every year. The signs of croup cough are easy to recognize, and once the infection is diagnosed in time, you can treat croup at home.

Common Symptoms of Croup

Croup begins as a cold, but if there is any further inflammation, the chances of getting croup increase. Common symptoms of croup are:

  • A loud, barking sound when coughing.
  • Noisy breathing or difficulty breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Hoarse voice.

Croup symptoms are usually worse at night but don’t last for more than five days.

CURE 1: Home Remedies

Croup cough is a mild infection and can be treated effectively at home. Here are the best home remedies for croup.

1. Hydration

Proper Rest & Hydration
Image:ShutterStock

Why use?

Staying hydrated when you have a cold or any illness is essential, and this includes croup. Take warm milk, jello, and sips of water regularly to ease the sore throat. This will also keep you hydrated.

How to use?

Take warm milk or soup at regular intervals. Also, take 2-3 spoons of water in between.

How much to use?

Try to drink something every hour.

2. Humidifier

Why use?

Humidity can help to easy blockage in the upper airway and relax the vocal cords. Using a humidifier for croup can also help reduce inflammation, enabling you to breathe easier.

How to use?

Take facial steam to treat croup. For croup in babies, sit with your child in a bathroom with the shower running, or you can have a humidifier run in a room. Don’t let your child take the steam directly, since it may cause face burns.

How much to use?

Do this twice a day. Let your child sit in a room with a humidifier running 3-4 hours a day.

3. Detox bath

Why use?

A detox bath will help to remove toxins from the body and also relax the muscles in the chest.

How to use?

To treat croup, add one spoon aluminum-free baking soda to a warm bath and let it stay for 5 minutes. Then add some Epsom salt and coconut oil to it and soak in the bath for 20 minutes.

How much to use?

Take a detox bath 3-4 times a week to treat croup.

[Also Read: Epsom Salt Detox]

4. Honey

Why use?

According to a study(2), taking 10 mm honey before bed can reduce cough. Honey for croup is also helpful since it helps ease a sore throat.

[Also Read: Health Benefits Of Honey For Cough]

How to use?

Take a spoonful of honey plain or added to warm milk before bed.

How much to use?

You can have honey every night till your croup symptoms go away. But, honey should not be given to children younger than 12 months.

5. Warm compress

how to treat croup

Why use?

When you have croup, there is congestion and cough in your chest. Much like a humidifies, placing a warm compress on the chest can help reduce this congestion and phlegm. This will make it easier to breathe.

How to use?

Warm compress and place it on your chest. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.

How much to use?

Use a warm compress for croup treatment every 2-3 hours or when you start coughing.

6. Salt water

Why use?

Salt can help fight the bacteria in your mouth and throat and reduce irritation caused due to coughing.

How to use?

Add one spoon of salt to warm water and gargle with this water.

How much to use?

You can use salt water every morning if you wake up with a sore throat after coughing during the night.

Croup doesn’t have any early signs, and your child can start wheezing and coughing suddenly due to croup.

CURE 2: Essential Oils

Essential oils have a lot of benefits that can help ease a cough. Below are some helpful essential oils for croup.

1. Fennel oil

fennel-essential-oil
Image: ShutterStock

Why use?

Fennel oil is one of the more widely used essential oils for its medicinal value. The oil can help to clear mucus from the airways and also detoxify the body.

How to use?

You can add some drops of fennel oil to your tea or mix it with a carrier oil and massage it on your throat and chest.

How much to use?

Take a few sips of fennel oil tea every few hours to clear the congestion in the airway.

2. Peppermint oil

peppermint oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why use?

Peppermint oil is popularly used to clear the respiratory tract. A study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition(3) has shown that peppermint oil can help to relax the muscles of the windpipe.

[Also Read: Peppermint Oil for Cough ]

How to use?

Add 3 drops of peppermint oil in boiling water and inhale the steam. For croup treatment in young children, dilute the oil with a carrier oil and have them inhale it.

How much to use?

Take peppermint oil-infused steam twice a day.

3. Tea tree oil

Why use?

Tea tree is used for sinus treatments since it helps to kill the bad bacteria that cause respiratory issues.  The oil can also help clear blockage in the airway, which can reduce croup.

How to use?

Inhaling tea tree oil directly is the best way to get the most benefits of this oil.

How much to use?

You can inhale the oil whenever you have trouble breathing.

4. Eucalyptus oil

Why use?

Most over the counter cough medications contain eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial properties that help to fight the bacteria and virus causing croup.

How to use?

Mix 2 drops of eucalyptus oil with 4-5 drops of coconut oil and rub it over your chest. For croup in babies, it is advised to use one drop of the oil in 5-7 drops of coconut oil and rub it over the chest.

How much to use?

Use eucalyptus oil 3-4 times a week to ease coughing.

[Also Read: Eucalyptus Oil for Cough ]

5. Orange oil

Why use?

Orange oil has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Hence, the oil can be used in croup treatment to aid in fighting the bacteria that causes the cough.

How to use?

Mix orange oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto your throat and chest.

How much to use?

Use orange oil once a day until the croup symptoms go away.

6. Frankincense oil

frankincense essential oil benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Why use?

Frankincense is generally used in perfumes and incense and can help to treat cough by clearing the respiratory system.

How to use?

Inhale directly or add a few drops of frankincense to a carrier oil and apply on your throat.

How much to use?

You can use this oil every night before bed to get better sleep.

7. Oregano oil

Why use?

Oregano oil contains carvacrol, which is an antimicrobial compound that can help fight many germs, including the bacteria causing croup.

How to use?

Oregano oil is very potent and should not be applied topically for small children. You can dab a few drops of the oil on a hanky and have your child sniff this hanky often.

How much to use?

Sniff oregano oil every time you experience a croup cough.

8. Geranium oil

Why use?

Geranium is a traditional herbal remedy for cough. It can also help reduce congestion due to croup infection.

How to use?

Mix geranium with a carrier oil and massage on throat and chest.

How much to use?

You can massage with geranium oil once a day until the croup symptoms reduce.

The treatment of croup varies based on the severity of symptoms, and in some cases, the doctor may advise emergent care setting for croup(4).

Back To TOC

See Also
health benefits of coconut oil

CURE 3: Herbs

1. Rosemary

Rosemary Herb
Image:ShutterStock

Why use?

Rosemary contains cineole, a compound that helps reduce mucus and inflammation in the chest.

How to use?

Rosemary is a garden herb and can be added to your tea.

How much to use?

Take a cup of rosemary-infused tea daily.

2. Thyme

Why use?

Thyme has antioxidant properties that will remove toxins from your body and help fight croup cough. Thyme tea can also induce calmness and allow you to sleep better.

How to use?

Take a cup of thyme tea every day. Also, you can boil thyme leaves in water and strain it. Drink this water on an empty stomach.

How much to use?

Drink thyme tea or thyme water once a day until the symptoms reduce. Do not give thyme to children younger than 3 years.

3. Elderberry

Why use?

Elderberry is used to boost the immune system, which will help your body fight the croup bacteria.

How to use?

Elderberry is available in syrup form or as kid-friendly gummies.

How much to use?

Take 1 elderberry gummy or a spoonful of elderberry syrup daily.

4. Chamomile

chamomile flowers
Image:ShutterStock

Why use?

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and is popularly used to treat cold. Chamomile also helps to treat croup by fighting bacteria.

How to use?

Add fresh chamomile to boiling water and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice in it. Drink this mix on an empty stomach.

How much to use?

Take chamomile and lemon water at regular intervals 3-4 times a day.

5. Ginger

Why use?

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can relax the membranes in your airways, and help to reduce coughing.

How to use?

Add grated ginger to your tea and drink daily. You can also add some grated ginger to a spoon of honey and take it daily for croup treatment.

How much to use?

You can use ginger in any form daily for effective results.

Children between the age of 3 months to 3 years are the most susceptible to croup(5).

Prevention Tips

Though there is no sure shot way to prevent croup, following proper hygiene practices can help to reduce your child’s chances of developing the infection.

  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Keep your child away from anyone who has croup since it is highly contagious.
  • Keep up with vaccines to make sure your child doesn’t get croup.
  • Encourage your child to wash hands with alcohol-based hand wash to prevent croup.
  • Encourage your child to cough or sneeze in their elbow only.

While children can get croup at any time of the year, it is less common during summer(6).

Croup is generally a mild infection, but if your child’s airway swells which interfere with breathing. Severe croup might require hospitalization, though such cases are rare.

According to Mayo Clinic(7), your child needs immediate medical attention if

  • There is a loud noise when inhaling or exhaling
  • The child is drooling or has difficulty swallowing
  • The skin around the mouth, nose, and fingernails turns bluish.
  • The child seems too anxious or agitated.

FAQs

1. How to treat croup in toddlers?

To get relief from croup, use a humidifier or start a hot shower to create steam. Sit with your toddler in the steam for 10-15 minutes at a time to treat croup in babies.

2. How to treat croup at home?

Sitting upright and staying in a cool environment can help to treat croup. You can also take fluids at regular intervals to reduce the congestion in your airway.

3. Is croup contagious?

Croup is contagious to children and teenagers but is rarely contagious for adults. It is caused by viruses that can spread when coughing or sneezing.

4. How long is croup contagious?

Croup is contagious for three days or until the fever goes away after you get infected by fever and cough.

5. Can adults get croup?

Croup is most common among children and teenagers. According to a study(8), there were only 15 reported cases of adults getting croup in medical history.

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