7 Home Remedies for Accelerating Healing of Croup

Updated on November 18th, 2019

In today’s world, children get affected by several respiratory problems. Some are chronic, some are mild, but they all end up causing varying levels of discomfort. Laryngotracheobronchitis is a condition caused by a virus.

It is known as Croup in layman terms. It’s a respiratory problem for young children who are between 3 months and 5 years old. The condition usually causes swelling of the windpipe and larynx.

Breathing becomes difficult due to swelling in the airways. Croup affects young kids because their airways are still so small that swelling can affect the volume of air that can pass through.

Croup in babies under the age of one is known to affect 1 in every 50 to 100 (1) It affects about 3% of children annually.

This article will give you an understanding of Croup and how to treat croup effectively using home remedies. Natural home remedies for Croup are extremely helpful in mild cases of the condition. Fortunately, the majority of cases that occur are mild ones.

Home Remedies for Croup

Home remedies can be a great way to accelerate healing from Croup in mild cases. Let us take a look at the 7 great croup treatments at home that help alleviate laryngotracheobronchitis in children so that they can recover faster from the condition.

  • Steam for Croup

steam therapy benefits

Why does it work?

Steam can help reduce congestion and improve breathing for your child during croup. The warmth also helps in expulsion of the mucus by thinning it. Furthermore, the steam also helps in shrinking the HPIV virus by the warmth it produces. Taking steam also reduced inflammation(2).

How to use it and how much?

Treatment with steam can be done in any bathroom with a hot water supply. Alternatively, steam can also be inhaled through a hot-water bowl.

  • Humidifier for Croup

Humidifier at home

Why does it work?

Humid air functions much the same way as steam, it helps improve breathing. A humidifier for croup can be an effective way of increasing the humidity around your child’s surroundings. Besides improving breathing, the humid air will also reduce congestion through the expulsion of mucus, and reduce coughing fits. According to medical research (3) in 2009, low humidity and cold temperatures are correlated with a greater probability of catching respiratory tract infections. Therefore, a humidifier will not only help alleviate symptoms of Croup but also reduce the chances of a respiratory tract infection in the future.

How to use it and how much?

You can get a humidifier and run in the room where your child usually sleeps. A more home-made alternative is to place a bowl or bucket of boiling water in the room to increase the moisture content in the air. In case you happen to have a radiator, placing some water on it in a pot may also do the trick of increasing humidity. Just make sure to be extra careful to avoid burns since you will be dealing with water at high temperatures. Also, if you are using a humidifier, clean it frequently to avoid the chances of molds that thrive in humidity and can cause fungal infections.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat Pneumonia]

  • Sponge Bath for Croup

Sponge Bath

Why does it work?

A cool sponge bath is a good way to reduce the fever of your child. The bath can be used as a quick way to provide relief from fever, give some much-needed relaxation and help your child get better sleep. But remember, it is a short-term fix. A 2013 study (4) published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care posits that cold water sponge baths are safe and can be used to reduce fever in children in the short term.

How to use it and how much?

You can soak a washcloth in cool or cold water, and use it to sponge your child’s limbs, armpits, and groin area. Such a sponge bath can be given 2-3 times a day. In case the fever is high, you can put a cloth soaked in cold water on your child’s forehead to provide some much-needed relief.

  • Honey

Honey for Babies

Why does it work?

Honey for Croup is an effective treatment for children above 1 year of age. Honey has multiple characteristics which make it a great option for treating Croup. It’s antioxidant, antibiotic, and immunity-enhancing characteristics mean that honey can help catalyze the child’s body to fight the Croup viral infection. Furthermore, the honey also provides relief to coughing in the night and sleeping difficulties.

How to use it and how much?

Honey can be taken orally by your child by mixing a teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm water or warm milk. This ritual can be followed 2-3 times daily. Another oral consumption mechanism is mixing 2 teaspoons of honey with 5-6 ml of lemon juice. This method can also be executed 2-3 times daily. Remember that giving honey to babies younger than 1 year of age is not safe. Honey is a known source of bacteria spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes infantile botulism, a serious condition that results in the weakening of the muscles and issues in breathing.

  • Increased Liquid Intake

Why does it work?

Since young children are prone to Croup, they become at risk of dehydration, especially if they refuse to consume fluids. Furthermore, fluids play a crucial role in thinning the mucus, thereby facilitating its expulsion.

How to use it and how much?

If your child is not feeling well and refusing to take fluids, work out a plan to give them smaller amounts at a time. For babies, breast milk can serve as a good means of hydration. For older kids, soup or normal water can be helpful. Juices such as apple juice and herbal teas can also provide hydration to the body, help in thinning the mucus, while also helping reduce infection by fighting it.

  • Chamomile

Chamomile Oil

Why does it work?

Chamomile has been a popular medicine at home for ages. It is great for treating soreness and tension in muscles. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory characteristics as well. Given chamomile’s properties, it is very effective at lessening the tension in the muscles around the trachea and larynx, thereby facilitating easy expulsion of mucus. It is also great at reducing swelling around the throat area, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use it and how much?

If your child is above 5 years of age, he or she can take chamomile orally in the form of a tea. Mix 10 chamomile leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, filter the mixture through a sieve, and add a tablespoon of honey to the mixture after the temperature reduces a bit. For children below 5, you can apply chamomile topically in the form of a chamomile oil massage around the neck and chest instead of giving them chamomile tea or any tea for that matter.

  • Lemon juice

lemon juice with baking soda

Why does it work?

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, thereby making them one of the best home remedies for croup cough. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of the citrate in lemon enable it to fight the virus and reduce the chances of further infection. Finally, lemon is also a great astringent. Therefore, it helps in the reduction of the swelling during Croup.

[Also Read: Benefits of Using Honey for Babies]

How to use it and how much?

Mix 2 teaspoons of honey with 5-6 ml of lemon juice and let your child consume it orally. An alternative way is squeezing juice from a normal-sized lemon, and letting your child drink it slowly. Just ensure that you do not allow them to consume anything for the next 15-30 minutes.

Croup is a relatively common respiratory condition among children. A health checkup with a doctor is important to understand the severity of the symptoms. However, in mild cases, croup can be effectively cured using the home remedies outlined above. Many age-old remedies exist for treating problems that our children have. However, just knowing the remedy is not enough, it is important to understand clearly when (and when not) to use them, and how to use them. We hope you found the remedies useful, executable, and informative.


1. How to Treat Croup at Home?

Croup is a relatively common respiratory condition among children. Home remedies can be a great way to accelerate healing from Croup in mild cases. Some of the home remedies that can be used for treating Croup include taking steam, using a humidifier, a sponge bath, consumption of lemon and honey, and many more.

2. Can All Croup Be Treated by Home Remedies?

Remember that home remedies only treat mild cases of Croup. If you notice your child’s condition worsening, then it is better to see a doctor and allow him or her to do some further medical investigation and suggest medical remedies.

3. How to Prevent Croup?

While a viral infection can not be completely prevented, you can reduce the chances of croup by ensuring regular intake, giving your child chamomile tea if they are above the age of 5, ensuring that there is appropriate warmth in the room where your child sleeps and regularly giving your child lemon juice in moderate amounts.

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