What Is Croup?
Croup is the result of the same virus that causes the common cold. In fact, it can often occur just after your child has had a cold or cough. It’s a cough that seems to linger and sounds more like a “bark.” It is produced from a throat that has become overly dry and inflamed. The inflammation shrinks the air passages and changes the way a cough sounds.
Most cases of croup in infants are very mild, but to keep them that way takes a bit of knowledge. If the cough is not treated at home early, it is likely to get more and more inflamed and can threaten to greatly reduce a child’s ability to get oxygen. This is when you must head to a doctor for help.
Natural Treatments for Croup
Here are a few natural suggestions to help keep your child at home and comfortable until a mild case of croup runs its course:
Once or twice daily, place your child in a small bathroom and turn on the hot water to create a steamy environment. Help them sit there for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you may create a therapeutic steam with a bowl of boiled water and a towel, tented over the child’s head and the bowl. (You may need to sit with young children to be sure they don’t touch the bowl or water.)
Your child is fighting off a virus. No running and playing or going back to school. Rest, sleep, and relaxation is the key.
Allow any fever that is not excessively high (103° and up) or prolonged with no change (more than 4-5 days) to run its course. Do not attempt to bring the temperature down.
4. Fresh Air
If it’s not too cold, a bit of humid chilly air can be very helpful to moisten the airways and take down the inflammation a bit. Be sure to dress warmly, even if you’re just sitting inside a slightly open window.
5. Mullein Tea
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is one of the best plants to use for croup. It is high in mucilage to soothe and moisturize dry membranes while alleviating the cough.
Mullein Tea for Croup Relief
- 2 teaspoons mullein leaf (find it online or at your local health food store)
- 4 ounces hot water
- 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
- dollop of raw honey
Pour hot water over the mullein and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Add lemon juice and honey. Drink 4-6 ounces three times a day.