When that dreaded barking cough of croup started being heard around our community this winter, our little boy eventually caught the bug. Thankfully, we were able to help him out with an assortment of remedies, and the scary cough disappeared after just a couple days.
As with all illnesses, it is my goal to try and assist my family to recovery with stronger immune systems, and fully restored to health as much as possible. (Often- especially in midwinter, it seems- little ones’ immune systems can get “worn down” down from an illness, resulting in susceptibility to further “bugs” thereafter; leaving parents sighing, “We just can’t seem to get well!”)
Many conventional cough/cold medications available for children merely mask the symptoms of illness, and are full of potentially-detrimental ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors, and sugars, among other chemicals. Although they may seem temporarily helpful, they are not necessarily working with the body’s immune system for healing, and may even be wearing it down further (even though the child does overcome that specific illness).
Throughout the winter, we supplement our diets with regular doses of flavored Cod Liver Oil, hoping the extra vitamin D will help boost immunity. (In the Northwest, we’re highly lacking in this “sunshine vitamin” this time of year!)
As soon as I suspected that an illness might be on the horizon, I also started giving out spoonfuls of my Immune Booster Syrup (from Herbal Nurturing).We’ve also been enjoying lots of homemade bone broth with plenty of garlic.
When the croup cough arrived, I automatically turned to our favorite homeopathic remedies. Homeopath Joette Calabrese explains some of our family’s standard “go-to” options in this interview at Natural Parenting Center, including the croup “triad” of Aconitum, Hepar Sulph, and Spongia. These are usually available in individual vials of homeopathic “pellets” or combined in a children’s cough syrup.
We didn’t notice much benefit from the classic routine of sitting in a bathroom with the steamy shower going, but did see some benefit from keeping a warm mist humidifier on in the bedroom.
(Another reader recommended this cool mist humidifier + hydrogen peroxide method as an alternative!)
Our older daughter, who had a bit of a cough, but no croup symptoms, responded well to my Homemade Cough Syrup (from Herbal Nurturing) full of herbs, as well as a children’s homeopathic medicine for sinus complaints. She also found my homemade Slippery Elm Lozenges (from Herbal Nurturing) to be soothing, as well.
On one occasion, while we were traveling last year, I didn’t have my homemade cough syrup on hand, so I picked up a bottle of Wellness Cough Syrup for Kids. It worked wonderfully for a nighttime cough (not croup)!
We have also given Silver Hydrosol Spray at times, to try keeping infection from worsening (such as when we were concerned that an infection might be starting to “settle” in the lungs), and to boost immunity.
For both children, we saw significant improvement after visiting our chiropractor for an adjustment, the day or two after symptoms began. They felt so much better!