When you have an infection of the upper airways, there's a chance that it could be croup. The most common symptom is a bark-like cough from the airways being obstructed. Swelling around the vocal cords, windpipe, and bronchial tubes are also common symptoms of croup. This swelling is what often causes a barking cough as well as a high pitch whistle sound with each breath you take. While this condition tends to affect younger children, anyone can get it. While it isn't usually serious issues, you may be wonder if there are any effective home remedies to treat it naturally. This article will reveal just that.
Top 12 Home Remedies for Croup
1. Steam treatment
One of the easiest ways you can help treat your croup is by using steam. The moist warm air will help relieve your respiratory issues and you can also use a cool mist humidifier in the evenings in your bedroom for additional relief. You can use the steam from your shower by simply shutting the bathroom door and turning on the hot water. Sit outside the shower, not in, and breathe in the steam for at least ten minutes.
2. Drink plenty of fluids
As with any illness, it is important that you keep yourself well hydrated. While water is the number one recommendation for proper hydration, you can also drink warm broths, soups or coconut water. For babies, breast milk is the best way to keep them hydrated. Consuming enough fluids will replenish the fluids lost from fever and give your body extra strength to fight off the infection. Tea is also a great option as it can help keep the vocal cords relaxed and reduce a barking cough.
It's important that you allow your body to rest as it fights off the infections. While resting, you want to avoid lying flat and instead want to prop yourself up using pillows. Being propped up will make it easier to breathe. For babies who have croup, you can place books under their mattress to create an incline for their head to rest on as you don't want to prop them up with pillows.
4. The right atmosphere
One of the home remedies for croup is simply creating a relaxing environment as you or your child recovers. It is especially important for parents to keep a calm demeanor when your child has croup, so you can provide them with plenty of comfort. While the coughing you hear from croup can be alarming, you want to remain calm for your child. If they notice you are concerned about their cough, they will become concerned and anxious as well. Provide a fun environment that can distract them and yourself from the cough by playing games or reading books.
5. Tea tree, thyme or lavender essential oils
Essential oils are highly recommended by naturopathic pediatricians. Rubbing essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, or thyme oil on your child’s chest can help relieve some of the symptoms of croup. Be sure to check with your child's pediatrician before using essential oils on your child, as some children may be too young to use this method on.
6. Colder air
Going outside in the colder air can help with croup or you can also stand in front of the refrigerator and breathe in the cold air from the freezer. If going outside in the cold air, be sure to bundle up properly or wrap your child in a warm blanket. Breathe in the cold air for about ten minutes to help relieve some of the swelling caused by croup.
7. Raw ginger
Ginger has many health benefits and consuming it while you have croup can help reduce congestion. Some home remedies for croup that you can try include ginger lozenges, ginger tea, or taking small amounts of ginger extract mixed with basil leaves and honey.
8. Turmeric and milk
The volatile oils in turmeric can prevent any further irritation to the respiratory system and soothe a sore throat. Warm a glass of milk and mix in three teaspoons of turmeric and drink the mixture daily; you can also mix turmeric in a cup of hot water and add in honey and lemon juice to reduce the symptoms of croup.
9. Homeopathic remedies
Homeopathic remedies are similar to essential oils and you can start seeing your symptoms reduce within about 30 minutes. This remedy includes actually three different remedies you use at various stages of having croup, including Aconitum, Spongia Tosta, and Hepar Sulp.
10. Increase vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential to keep the immune system functioning properly and consuming more when you have croup is highly recommended. Vitamin C will not only give your immune system a boost but will also shorten the recovery time when you or your child has croup. To increase your vitamin C intake daily, eat more foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C. Fruits like oranges, strawberries, papaya, and kiwi as well as vegetables like celery, tomatoes and cauliflower all contain a significant amount of vitamin C.
11. Organic honey
Honey has a number of antibiotic properties which is why it is one of the best home remedies for croup. It can help treat the bacterial and viral infection that causes croup. Drink a cup of tea with a spoonful of honey in it at least once a day or mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with two teaspoons of honey and drink the mixture every day.
An herbal salve can be a great way to naturally treat croup. For babies, this can be highly beneficial to help them breathe easier. Just run the salve on the chest of your baby as soon as you notice a cough and your baby should be able to breathe better after about ten minutes.