Whooping Cough part 3: Natural Remedies for Prevention and Treatment

natural remedies whooping coughThis is the Whooping Cough post that I’m the most excited to share!!!  I mean, I’m not giddy about having such a long and nasty bug this year, but it’s such a great feeling to treat your family at home with herbs and foods that you feel good about giving them, and watch them get better!  So I want to share what has worked for our family.

In case you missed it, Part I: Our Whooping Cough Story is here, and Part II: Dangers, Diagnosis & Conventional Treatment is here.

I’m going to post random vacation pictures.  The only way that these will relate at all is that this is the time that we discovered that this handsome little beach stud had whooping cough.

Seriously, Mom?  DAD!!!  Do you see this?

Prevention of Whooping Cough

If you read the article I wrote on September 3rd about using Garlic as a natural remedy, you’ll see that I mentioned that I was trying to come down with a cough.  Well, I didn’t know it at the time, but the babe and I were in the first phase of whooping cough.  I felt as if I had a thick layer of mucous high up in my chest/throat area.

I decided to go ahead and treat myself with garlic, as I find that treating at the *VERY* first sign of an illness really gives your immune system the home court advantage.

Placing a whole, fresh clove of garlic in my cheek, biting down on it with my molars, and holding it for a few minutes knocked it out.  I did this twice…once that night while writing the blog post, and once the next day.

The garlic biting was really not as bad as I anticipated it being…it’s no where near the intensity as chewing a clove, as it sits so far back in the mouth and there is no chewing and tongue coating intensity.  It’s doable even for an herbal wimp like me.

So, I accidentally knocked out a case of Whooping Cough using the powerful antibiotic properties of garlic…but the baby still got it.  If I had known what we were dealing with at the time, I would have used a garlic poultice on my little guy, and eaten more garlic myself to rally his immune system to knock it out.

Whooping Cough Treatment in the Coughing Phase (Paroxysmal Phase)

When we went to the doctor in my baby’s second week of coughing, the coughing fits were really, really bad.

But when he wasn’t having a coughing fit, he was a happy, healthy looking baby with no symptoms of illness besides a bit of congestion rattle when he breathed.  No fever, runny nose, etc.  And OF COURSE he didn’t cough once at the doctors office.

My husband and I decided not to medically prevent our baby’s coughs by using cough suppressants.  However, my heart just broke every time he had a coughing fit…I hated it, and I wanted to help support his body in healing.  I wanted to do something about it, and I felt strongly that herbs and nutrition would be the best way to help him heal quickly.

Since my babe was at the age where he was very interested in watching us eat,  I decided to look into herbs or foods that would help support and repair what the whooping cough toxins had compromised.  If he had been a bit younger, I would have simply applied the foods and herbs to my diet, and he would have benefited from it through nursing.

This is actually where a majority of my whooping cough research began.

I wanted to know exactly what areas of the body had been damaged, and find foods that contained nutrients that supported healing in those areas.
So I did a little (OK…several hours worth of) research.

First I looked at medical journals that outlined the progression and actions of the disease.  Then, I took those terms, and searched for foods and herbs that directly addressed those issues in the body.  This is what I came up with for him:

My Recipe for Whooping Cough Remedy Stew

The Problem is:“Pertussis progressively destroys the ciliated epithelial cells” (4)
Research says:… beta-carotene acts to strengthen the epithelial cells of the mucous membranes  (1)

Some herbs and foods that are high in beta carotene are alfalfa, and cooked carrots.  Cooking and pureeing carrots actually increases the availability of the beta carotene

…so pureed carrots went on the menu. 

I also read that a small amount of fat in the meal ensures that the body absorbs more of the beta carotene.(3)

…so I added a bit of good organic butter to the mix.

The Problem is: Pertussis “inhibits coupling of receptors to inter-cellular signaling pathways, leading to the secretion of fluids and electrolytes from the cells.” (4)  [My translation: it shuts down the electrical system of the cells and cause them to leak fluids or burst]
Research says:
-A substance called Beta-1,3-D-glucan (found in oats, barley and yeasts) are potent macrophage activators.  Macrophages ignite intercellular communication by releasing chemical messengers called cytokines (interferon and interleukin). These cytokines are powerful proteins responsible for catalyzing and regulating several immune responses within the body.

Great!  I just happened to have pearled barley and oats…tossing those in with buttered pureed carrots.

The Problem is:“Studies with animals have shown that both humoral [within the body fluids] and inter-cellular immunity is required to eliminate an infection with B. pertussis.” (4)
Research says:
-Garlic may stimulate both humoral and cellular immunity, cause T-cell proliferation, and restore suppressed antibody responses (5)

…adding in some garlic.

The Problem is:“Pertussis paralyzes the cilia, coating it with a sticky toxin.  This, in turn, makes the lungs even more susceptible to secondary infections. B. pertussis potentiates [increases or enhances] the effects of histamine, resulting in increased mucus production.  The respiratory tract becomes overly sensitive to environmental irritants”
Research says:
-Garlic eases bronchial secretions (6) and has rejuvenating effect on all cells.  Garlic is effective against toxic bacteria, viruses, and fungi.(7)

…and some more garlic.

I also added in some dried basil and oregano, which I had on a list in my herbal notes as natural anti-histamines.  Other natural anti-histamines include chamomile, fennel and tarragon.  The first two would be nice in a tea blend.

So, the natural remedy was disguised as baby food, using these specific ingredients. It would also have made a delicious stew, if I had not pureed it.  Here is a printable recipe if you’d like to try it!

5.0 from 10 reviews
Whooping Cough Stew
  • 2 T good quality butter
  • ⅔ c. chopped carrots
  • 6 cups of good, homemade chicken or beef stock (or 6 cups of water, and beef or chicken bones)
  • 1½ cups cooked chicken meat (optional: I leave this out for little ones)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine or minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. dried basil
  • ¼ t. dried oregano (or sub ½ t. Greek Seasoning Mix for dried herbs)
  • ½ c. pearled barley
  • ½ c. oats (any form from steel cut to quick cooking)
  • 1½ cups of fresh, organic spinach greens
  • ½ t. yeast
Broth Instructions
  1. If you're starting with bones and water, place them in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for a couple of hours, skimming the top from time to time.
  3. Or you may alternatively place it all in the crock pot overnight on high.
  4. Strain broth through a sieve into a large soup pot, and follow instructions below.
Soup Instructions
  1. If you have chicken or beef broth/stock ready to go, add it to a large pot or crock pot, along with melt butter, cooked chicken, chopped carrots, garlic, basil and oregano. Heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Add pearled barley and oats, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add in the fresh spinach and a bit of yeast just before serving.
I was a little surprised that the combination I made for my 7 month old baby smelled really good! The immersion blender did a great job of pureeing the food into a mush, and we froze most of it in ice cube trays.
I didn't include any protein in the baby food version, because my son was still nursing for most of his nutrition. If this was being served as the main course for an older baby or child, I would add the meat or even do an "egg drop" method to enhance the protein content.
We are not "religious" food snobs by any means, but for a family who is recuperating from an illness, I find it is really worth it for me to get the best quality meats and eggs that I can find. I get grass-fed beef bones from a local company, as well as pasture raised eggs. There really is a nutritional difference.

My little guy was very excited to start eating, and really, really likes his food.  But the best part is that his coughing got progressively better.  I noticed a difference within 48 hours, and by the end of the week, he was remarkably better.

Which is amazing, because he had the worst cough of all, having such small airways.

Whooping Cough Treatment During the Recovery Phase

The next phase of Pertussis is called the “Recovery Phase” and is the longest of the three phases.  In fact, it can last for up to 6 months.  If you remember from my first post on whooping cough, I wrote:

“Coughing fits begin to happen with less frequently and duration.  The lungs recover slowly, and the person is more susceptible to secondary infections because the protective cilia layer is gone.  Infections that do develop afterwards are going to stimulate similar coughing fits.”

My 8 year old and 3 year old were in this phase as we prepared to leave for our family vacation…prior to me really *understanding* that we actually had whooping cough.

Just before we left for vacation in September, my 8 year old and 3 year old had been coughing for 4 and 3 weeks, respectively.  It was still interfering with everyone’s sleep, and the coughs were still intense.

They had both been taking this homemade honey/lemon ‘cough syrup’ all along, with no real changes, but they liked it, so I let them have as much as they wanted.  And at that point, I was still thinking that I was dealing primarily with “germs”, and not understanding that it was mainly toxic aftermath/damage I should be addressing.

As we were getting ready to go out of town, I happened to run across a blog post about the benefits of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory.  So I added turmeric and a dash of pepper to their honey.  My  3 y.o. had the worst cough of the two.  I gave her one dose of the turmeric boosted “cough syrup” the night before we left for vacation.

On day 2 of our vacation, we realized that she was barely coughing anymore!

The bad news was that I had left the turmeric honey at home.  Thankfully, it’s a common kitchen herb, so after a quick run to the local super market, I dosed both of them with the turmeric honey.  After weeks of coughing, we were amazed that this simple natural remedy diminished their coughs to almost non-existent.

Turmeric is a yellow spice (a ground root) that is used in Indian food.  It has a warm, spicy smell and taste, and it is a very good anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine.  Using a bit of black pepper thrown in helps the body absorb more into the blood stream (and by more, I mean 2,000 percent more, according to one study!)  Turmeric powder is VERY yellow, though, and can stain, but a soak (or two) in Oxy-Clean got the stains out for us.

I wrote about turmeric in depth here, and it’s now one of my favorite herbs that I keep on hand in bulk.  It’s VERY versatile in its actions and we prefer it for headaches, stopping blood flow, and especially for coughing.

Since I don’t give honey to my little guy yet, I gave the him some turmeric mixed in plain organic yogurt or maple syrup.  Because he was still in the paroxysmal (fits) stage, we were dealing with fresh damage to his lung tissue, he responded more-so to the foods and herbs that I posted about earlier.  The turmeric didn’t shut down the coughing as quickly as it had for my other two kiddos, but it was still helpful for him as an anti-histamine.

good morning!

I’m really grateful that we had another opportunity to use natural remedies to help us get well.  Even after seeing it work over and over, it’s still amazing and rewarding to see how the body responds to good whole foods, and medicinal herbs.

I want to hear if this works for you!  Pass it on, and send me your comments.  I love hearing from you!


This was shared on the Gwens-Nest facebook page, and I wanted to share it here as well:

“Hi there!! I just wanted to pass along the vitamin C info someone recommended to me – it seems to be helping alot!
We are doing high doses of Vitamin C – if I ease off on the dose the cough gets worse so it really does seem to be helping! He has one major coughing fit per day (unfortunately at about 5am!!) and then the odd cough or two throughout the day and that’s it.” Lauren C.


“Hi Gwen, my whole family has been suffering from whooping cough. My daughter and I have had it quite severe and are still suffering the effects. I started to google home remedies as the doctors can not give you anything for it. I found your cough syrup which my husband made me up a big batch on Saturday. I must say, it has helped me so much. On Friday night, I was going to take my daughter and I to hospital. I haven’t felt that way again since taking your cough syrup. We are still coughing, but it isn’t as bad and doesnt seem to last as long. I have been taking the syrup for nearly 48 hours, so I am hoping I will continue to improve. I have been giving it to the kids too, and they dont mind it. Thank you for sharing your recipe and it has at least given me some hope that we will all get over this dreaded bug.” Paula

Thank you so much to all those who have taken time to share their tips, stories and experiences with Pertussis.

I had no idea that there would be outbreaks of Whooping Cough when I wrote this series.  My heart goes out to the parents and little ones who are in the midst of this scary illness, and it is my hope that you find resources and research to help your family cope with and heal from Whooping Cough.

And we can rejoice together that immunity from having Whooping Cough is generally life-time immunity!

Here is another great article to check out: Natural Ttreatment for Whooping Cough by Holistic Squid.

Sources cited:
(full disclosure: the last two books are linked through my Amazon affiliate account)
1. http://www.bulkherbstore.com/AHC?s=cells
2. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904124728.htm
3. http://www.vitamin-basics.com/index.php?id=35
4. Essentials of Immunology and Serology, By Jacqueline Stanley, 2002  http://tiny.cc/n89sh
5. http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69230.cfm
6. Nutritional Herbology : A Reference Guide to Herbs
7. The How to Herb Book: Let’s Remedy the Situation

P.S. Info…not meant to treat, diagnose…blah blah…I’m just a housefrau, so don’t listen to anything I say. :) Mmm-K?


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  1. sunnylynn says

    Gwen, THANK YOU for your info and recipe!!!! After feeding my family these suggested foods and the stew, about 48 hrs later they were SO much better! They went from sounding like they were all three going to die to coughing just a few times at night. Thank you so much, my husband was skeptical, but I told him we could trust your research. You came through again!!! Really appreciate being able to look things up on your site and not having to depend on the sea of cyber-junk that usually pops up when searching for natural remedies.

    • Its_Gwen says

      Thank you SO much for your comment and love, Sunny! ♥
      I’m SO happy that the recipe worked well for you! Foods can be amazing medicine, when they provide the right nutrients for the body to self-repair!

  2. Alicia says

    Thanks for this! I found this fascinating and might try the tumeric honey syrup on my husband who has a lingering cough from a throat infection.

  3. Natalie says

    We are fighting this terrible disease in our 2 year old daughter. Going to start some preventative measures with the ones (who we hope) are not already infected. Might I add, NIGHTIME IS BRUTAL! My husband and I take shifts. Pray for us, please!!!

  4. andrea dunnavant says

    Once again, you are a TREMENDOUS blessing! My middle boy, Micah, (also my total ALL things outdoors kid) woke up with a super fever this morning, and a harsh cough that has been a bit on the “annoying” side (to him, lol, he HATES getting sick!) but hit him hard today. My lil-me (Abigail-5) had what I firmly believe was whooping cough, about a month ago… since my intro to herbs, essential oils, and coconut oil in November ’12, I’ve put together my own little (ok, pretty big, lol) notebook (made from a super old photo album, but mine is a billion sheet protectors filled with hand-written notes containing amazingly valuable (to me) info on anything herbal that I can get my hands on!!)
    All that aside, I’m following your experience-gleaned research and remedies to the “T”, in hopes of ridding my boy of this junk, and preventing the rest of us from getting any worse (than we will/would withOUT the remedies)
    Thank you for being so amazing!
    Much love and respect,

    • Its_Gwen says

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying my little blog. Hope your kiddos feel better soon! I sure do love playing with and researching herbs, and sharing them here.

      I love to hear what works for you too, so let me know how it goes, OK?!

  5. ralljohnson says

    I have not started my daughter on food. She just turned 6 months April 1 and is still exclusively breast fed. Is it too early to start the puree if she has never had food before?

    • Its_Gwen says

      Starting babies on solids is such a personal decision, and there are lots of opinions on when the right time is, etc. My little guy was 7 months old at the time he contracted whooping cough, and we made the decision to go ahead and let him transition to foods just to treat the whooping cough (he was already HIGHLY interested in foods, but was still exclusively breast fed at the time).

      If you are not comfortable with the timing, you can definitely enjoy the remedies and recipes, and she will benefit through you. ♥

      I’m so sorry that you guys are going through this…it’s never fun, but it’s harder on a Mama’s heart with such a little one.

  6. says

    This is an amazingly good post and such helpful information, thank you so much for sharing your valuable research and experience, the recipe is genious. Good work!:)

  7. Momof9 says

    WOW —wish I had come across this about 2 months ago. We had some success with LOBELIA taken with cayanne pepper and also sage in honey lessened the coughs…we are in the 8th week of “recovery” stage. Going to get some tumeric right away.

    • Its_Gwen says

      Good combo on the herbs! Hope the turmeric really kicks it for you. I want to know how it works out…I love hearing feedback, and so do other readers. :)

      • Mollycat says

        I tried this last week. The dr said that I had Whooping Cough, but test is not back yet, so maybe not. Anyway, I was coughing so hard it made my stomach hurt and thought that my head was going to explode. I couldn’t talk because of the coughing and if I took anything but a shallow breath, it would start of the long, wracking cough. It was terrible. As soon as I found your blog, I asked my husband to make the cough syrup with turmeric. It was evening and it seemed to help the cough some. I to it several times before I went to be. I didn’t wake myself up coughing, which I had done continually, the night before. When I woke up the next day, I didn’t start to cough, when I took a hot, steamy shower, I didn’t cough! I couldn’t believe it. I could talk again and breathe normally. I still coughed a bit, but it was just a normal cough, not on and on and on.
        Thank you so much for this recipe!! I feel so much better and I will tell all my family and friend to try it if they get a cough.

    • Its_Gwen says

      Hi Mandi, I think I mentioned that my older two children who picked it up first were fully vaccinated. My two youngest were not. Thankfully, they all have lifetime immunity now from going through it. :)

      • says

        Just a heads up that getting the disease doesn’t give you lifetime immunity necessarily. We know several families who have had confirmed cases of pertussis TWICE, and within short windows (one family contracted it two years in a row! The other 5 years after the first round). There are apparently different strains. I have no idea why they don’t put all of the known strains in the vaccine, but they obviously do not. I can’t imagine the children having this terrible disease again!! Sorry for the sad but true news.

        • says

          I’ve heard differing views on lifetime immunity after contracting. And yes, you would be immune to the strain that you contracted, but not all strains. Good reminder!

  8. Shelly Leys says

    How much turmeric did you add to your honey/lemon cough syrup recipe? My Mom is in the middle of this and 14 more of us were exposed with several of us in in the initial stage.

  9. Blanche says

    Thank you so much, Gwen, for the great info! My 12 yr. old is on day 53 of the whooping cough that he was tested and confirmed for…he was doing great until this last Sunday when he caught a cold from his classmate who shared it with half the class….and it threw us back into the bad coughs again and being up at night….he is just now getting better enough to go back to school today…I was told about homeopathic remedies Drosera and Ipecacuana last week and just got some and started using them day before yesterday….definitely helped! By the way, after he was diagnosed with whooping cough and was put on the Zithromax, he was greatly helped by it…like night and day!! I have been making homemade chicken noodle soup like crazy with fresh garlic and onions, carrots, and celery and chicken breasts….it’s the best food for our son by far! I got so exhausted being up at nights, etc, that I ended up in the hospital with hyperthyroid racing heart, etc….so when people at our church and Christian school asked what they could do for us, I said, would you mind making some homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh garlic and onions, and they said, sure….so thankfully we have had some help and great soups like medicine to our souls and bodies! So thankful for Christian community! :)

  10. Beth says

    I was just in the emergency room last night with my 4 month old and they believe he may have pertussis. The results wont be back for another couple of days but they put him on Azithromycin for 7 days. He woke me up at 2 am, no prior issues (sneeze nor cough nor runny nose) acting as though he was gasping for air. I thought at first maybe he had some reflux issues but it didn’t quit so I rushed him on to the E.R. in a panic. He hasn’t been vaccinated at all as of yet so to say I’m a little concerned is an understatement.. I plan on doing a delayed schedule, opting out of a good amount of the scheduled vaccines. But this one kind of snuck up on us with no fair warning! I went ahead and started him on the prescribed vaccine this morning and started my own research :).. Which, led me here to you! I am in the process of making the chicken broth for the Whooping Cough Stew of yours and while he has been trying some solids (green beans, carrots and sweat potatoes), should I be concerned with any of these ingredients reacting with his antibiotic? I’d ask my own doctor, but he wasn’t in the office today. I also noticed the turmeric you used in your cough syrup, would it be possible to add a little to the stew?? So far, he isn’t coughing, but he does sound like he has a lot of mucus build up in his throat/chest, which I guess is what was causing his breathing issues. No fever. Pretty happy baby really. I would just like to really head this off as much as possible in the event the tests show that he does in fact have pertussis.. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thank you SO much for all of the research you have done and the advice you have given. :)

  11. Aubrie says

    I ran across your blog on whooping cough and just want to thank you for all your research in to the matter. My 3 year old is right in the middle of it and thankfully I found your cough remedy to give the poor girl some relief. My 14 mo old sounds like she might be in the very beginning stages of pertussis. I hear a lot of congestion forming in her chest. I’ve been treating her with the cough remedy, as well as the soup recipe on your site. I’m dreading going through it with my youngest. I made an appt with our naturopath for her but after reading all your research I’m questioning if that would even provide more insight in to bypassing it all together. It sounds like once they are infected there’s not much else a doctor can do than what I’ve already been doing at home for them. It’s just hard seeing what my 3yr old went through and anticipating what my baby is about to go through.

    • Andi Kelli Johnson says

      if you catch it before the coughing gets bad or they start to get better (when the bacteria had done its damage) you can take at antibiotics (natural or not) an dknock it out!

    • Heather says

      I’ll second what Andi said. If you start antibiotics very early then you can kill the pertussis bacteria before they do all the damage. All 5 of my kids (ages 18 months to 7 years) have had Whooping cough this summer/fall. The oldest got it first and by the time the test came back positive all the other kids had been exposed. Our entire family took the round of Zithromycin (the first round of anitbiotics any of my kids has ever taken), and it DID decrease the severity of the coughing for the younger kids. My oldest was 3 weeks into the coughing before she took the meds, so they didn’t help her much, aside from the fact that taking the meds does kill the bacteria, which means that you won’t be contagious once you’ve taken the full round of them. Otherwise, a person is considered contagious until at least 3 weeks after the onset of coughing. I’ve appreciated all the helpful info on this blog. It helped us to rebuild the kids’ immune systems after taking the antibiotics and also helped them heal faster. We also cut dairy completely out of their diet for a few weeks and saw immediate results (almost no coughing). In fact, they seemed like they were “all better”, so I let them have a bit of cheese and yogurt this week and they have started coughing again. High doses of vitamin C seem to be helping to ward off other infections (common cold, etc.) that might otherwise invade their compromised respiratory tract right now, too.

  12. Jaime Bohrtz says

    Thank you for this very informative post…was looking up symptoms of whooping cough and ran across your blog. I am definitely going to try out your home remedies for my little ones (their colds just won’t go away…could it be whooping cough? Hmmmmmm?) Thank you once again! I am subscribing too…great blog! :)

  13. sunnyshines says

    My one year old I believe has cone down with whooping cough. He is perfectly fine and happy until his coughing fits, Which are usually worse at night. Sometimes he coughs till he chokes :(. It started 30 days ago and seems to be at is worst right now. My sons also started out as a cold followed by a nasty cough. Were treating it naturally or trying anyway. I juice him kale carrot parsley and an apple and or a kiwi and I add it raw organic vitamin C. I will definitely be making this stew tonight. I wanted to ask though if your sons coughing fits made him choke or not be able to breathe for a few seconds??? How long until this is over? ?? This is so scary and I’ve never met anyone whose treated it naturally. My family thinks I’m crazy.

  14. Katie says

    Hi, I have a 7 month old who possibly has whooping cough and am wondering with giving vitamin C to him can you put this in his food or does it have to go in his milk? Also with the tumeric how much should you add to the cough mixture?
    Thanks so much

    • Its_Gwen says

      I think I used 1/2 to 1 tsp of turmeric in the cough mix and I used maple syrup for my little guy who was under a year old.

      Not sure on the vitamin C dosage for little ones.

  15. Canice says

    Wow ! ! All I can say is thank you sooo much for writing your blog and whooping cough experiences… it has gotten myself and our 3 and 8 year old through without meds and each day they visibly get healthier and stronger, and less coughing. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING !!

  16. Laura VanCleaf says

    It was great to read your herbal remedies. I do not vaccinate my family and every other website pushes vaccination to prevent whooping cough. Thank you for sharing your experience using food/herbs to heal! =D

      • georgie says

        Hi Gwen, I took my little one to emergency yesterday as she passed out on me from coughing so much.. they said she didn’t have whooping cough as she hasn’t got a fever,just like your babe she looked pretty healthy.. until too days ago she was running around playing with other kids, until she would start coughing..over the last few days she is a bit more tired now… I have been looking at loads of stuff.. and figured that she does have it.. so am going to do your diet..
        she is already on the thyme, honey, ginger tea.. but needs something more potent.. so will try your cough syrup too.. she hates garlic but i think it might be a great way of being able to get it into her system.. poor thing she is really really fed up of the horrible coughing.. its pretty scary too as a mum.. especially when she passed out on me!
        i have a double whammy though.. as she and my husband also have thread worms.. !!
        needless to say i haven’t had much sleep for the last few weeks..
        like you i have been up for hours now researching into who to cure her.. thanks for all the tips.. xx
        I think that some of the same herbs that work for the whooping cough also help expel the worms right?.. Fennel.. garlic, turmeric..
        also papaya seeds ..
        and we moved house two days ago too..
        I thought i had had whooping cough but have just found out that i only had the jab.. so…. am feeling fairly rough so will make a bit batch of food and syrup for me and the hubby too. xx

  17. lavinia says

    Hi Gwen,
    I too had whooping cough several months ago, and I was quite unwell. Not sleeping and coughing night and day long can be quite unpleasant. Still, once the doctor made the diagnosis, I started taking the garlic, onion and turmeric, and … started to sleep :) I saw the doctor several days after I started the treatment, and I was perfectly fine, as I could get my sleep and all, and he started to doubt his diagnosis, as ” I was not supposed to feel good, so maybe I did not have whooping cough after all”. Well, it was not what my blood tests said, but still he was not convinced. I tried to explain that I take some natural products, and at this point he got really agressive, saying that absolutely nothing will help, not even 100mg of cortisone, as he already tried…

    Of course I still coughed a bit, being left out of breath once or twice a day, and it took some time to get better, but it was not even close to what it was before taking the garlic/turmeric syrup. So thank you for your advice, as it really helped

  18. Chris says

    This is not a natural cure, but if you get desperate, I just wanted to let people know that I cured my son’s whooping cough (pertussis) with a nasal steroid (Nasonex). But I believe any nasal steroid would work. Nasal steroids are meant for the sinuses, but you need to try to get the steroid to the back nasal / bronchial area where the bacteria are lodged. I just had my son slowly breathe back through his nose ONLY as I was spraying it in so the medicine would travel past his sinuses and into the bronchial passage. He was 4 years old, and I gave him 2 sprays in each nostril 2 times a day; once in the morning and once in the evening. In the evening I had him lie flat on his back to try to get it to drip to the back of the bronchial area. The whooping cough was gone after 4 doses. I prayed and I believe God directed me to the Nasal steroid. My son only had the cough for about 4 days. Nasal steroids are pretty safe and I would have given it to my child even if he were an infant to save him from that whoop!!! I would probably have a baby lie flat after spraying it in to get it back as far as possible. I told my Doctor how it cured my son, but he just scoffed. I Guess because it’s not in the medical books, it really does
    not work!?! Well, this really worked for me; I hope it will help others.

  19. MeghanH says

    Hi Gwen, I will definitely be starting the garlic for myself as a preventative, but I had a question about my daughter who is 6 and a half months old. She caught a pretty yucky cold from my family about a week ago and is still coughing pretty nasty.. I don’t think she has pertussis but I’m not sure (she is not vaccinated), she just has some nasty congestion and small coughing fits.. I’m not sure how I would do a preventative for her..? Do I feed her some garlic juice? (if that’s even a thing) She’s breastfeed and I have just started BLW (Baby led weaning) with her so she gets a small amount of food but still gets most all of her nutrition and stuff from nursing. So maybe if I take enough garlic it will pass on to her??? Would love to hear what you think. I love this post btw. :)

    • Its_Gwen says

      The colds going around this year (and flu) are both hitting the lungs pretty hard, so it may just be that and not pertussis.

      When I was a kid, my Mom gave me some VERY unpleasant home remedies, and that left a literal bad taste in my mouth about trying natural things as a young adult. So I’m pretty insistent that remedies be palatable around here. :)

      Have you seen the cough remedy that I make for my littles? Under a year old, I’d use maple syrup instead of honey, but it’s loaded with good healthy stuff and my kids and hubby actually LIKE it and ask for it.

      I have a more in depth post about the properties of garlic here: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/garlic-remedies/
      and a great post on how we use onions for congestion here: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/onion-remedies/

  20. Tamara says

    Wow! Soup recipe worked on my 5 month old within 48 hours. I started feeding it yesterday morning. Cough was lessened throughout day & I had a doc appt this am. They could not find anything wrong! I’m just so amazed & thankful that this worked & my little one is back to her happy spirit! Thank you!!

    • Tamara says

      Oh, I pureed the soup for her using the magic bullet, & ate the soup myself since I am still breast feeding & practicing baby led feeding. I also added extra beta 1,3- glucan in powder form that I had as a vitamin supplement. I also took additional vitamin A , C, & beta 1,3-glucan myself.

  21. Felicia Frame says

    I believe I might be in the very beginning stage of something, maybe whooping cough? My husband has been sick for a few days now, might be flu, coughing up a storm. Hopefully it will pass but my 2 month old is starting to get congested and coughs every so often to clear her throut. We decided not to vaccinate (w/a possible delayed schedule). What can I do to help her? She is solely brestfed. I can bottle feed if I pump. I will make your stew in hopes to pass her the great benifits through my milk. Possibly any other suggestions? Could I add turmeric to the breast milk? I don’t want to harm her since she’s so young. You input would be great. Thank you.

    • Its_Gwen says

      This years flu has a strong chest congestion component. You can certainly use some of the remedies that I mention here, but I’d also be in touch with her doctor about any chest congestion in your little one. I’d specifically ask what to look/listen for with her breathing to assess when a situation would warrant emergency attention.

      I would also focus on getting plenty of vitamin C and D as a nursing Mama, and enjoying nourishing foods that will carry through the milk.

      Bless you and your little one. ♥

    • Its_Gwen says

      The pattern you’re describing with your husband doesn’t sound like whooping cough, but chest infections are nothing to play around with either, and I’d be working actively to avoid that situation.

  22. Crystal Star-Voorhees Bird says

    I know this is an old post, but I’ve just got to say how much this has helped my kiddos out! A month ago my 2 yr old caught what I thought was just a common cold until 2 weeks later it turned for the worst. I didn’t know what to do, I had no clue what it could have been. My mother in law is a Certified Natural Health Professional and we went through a list of stiff and though we narrowed it down to allergic reaction. I checked the carpet in the kid’s bedroom because our AC leaked during the summer and I found mold growing. We ripped up the carpet and put an air purifier in there. Still she wasn’t getting better. Then my boys began coughing. I then decided to look up Whopping Cough and bingo! Matched symptoms to the “T”. I admit, I was terrified and cried. I begged God to heal my children and he assured me He was healing them and the way He was doing it they were going to be much stronger. I felt such peace and began researching treatments with my mother in law. I came across your blog and I had everything I needed to make the soup. It was so easy and it was delicious!!! My picky son even liked it…well, just one bowl of it. haha

    My MIL saw the link you updated with about Vitamin C and it had to of been the Lord looking out for us because a few days before we discovered it was WC she had dropped off 3 jars of powered Vitamin C Ascorbates. I immediately began pumping them with Vitamin C. It may seem like a lot, but according to the 350mg per kg dosage my 4 yr old gets 5,000mg, 2 yr old gets 4,000mg and my 6 month old gets 2,000mg. Yeah….ALOT! However, since they are under attack their bodies need every bit of it. I definitely see a difference while using it. One major coughing spell a night and only small coughs the rest of the time. Since it’s been a month already for my daughter she no longer needs as much Vitamin C. I’ve reduced her dosage by half.

    I also wanted to note that we used Colloidal Silver (Silver Shield from Nature’s Sunshine) as our natural antibiotic. 1 teaspoon 5-7x a day for a week then half teaspoon 3x a day the next week. If you do probiotics as well, alternate them, don’t take at same time. Plus some liquid herbs such as Elderberry, Golden Seal, Oregon Grape, and C.H.E.- B. from Pure Herbs LTD.

    So far everything is working wonderfully considering we’re fighting WC. I read horror stories of how it can be, but I truly believe when you have the knowledge to battle it with the abundant natural resources all around you, it wont be so bad and the lifetime immunity is the light at the end of the tunnel. 😀

    Again, thank you for your blog. It helped me to not freak out knowing others have been through what we’re dealing with and it’s a learning experience that we can share with others.

    • Its_Gwen says

      So glad you found my write up helpful. :) It’s neat to hear how others treat and the results. I had great results with the turmeric, but didn’t know about the vitamin C trick at the time.

      • Joanna says

        Hi Gwen! Thinking about making this for my 7 month old… Did you cook and then puree it, and how did you serve it to your little one?? Thank you!

        • Its_Gwen says

          Yes. I made it as a stew, and then used my immersion blender to puree it right in the pot. :) Easy peasy. And you can freeze the extras in ice cube trays, and thaw out a few cubes at a time. I loved using the little one cup wide mouth canning jars, and would thaw enough food for a few days when my guy was little.

  23. Denisehealthnut says

    Hi Gwen, Thank you for your post. I’ve been doing some research and the cough supposedly lasts up to 100 days. Even if the cough stops, I’ve been reading treatment must continue up until 3 months. Have you found that to be the case with your children?

  24. Kim T says

    Thank you for posting this. Would you change anything if you were exclusively nursing? My little guy is only 5 months, and I don’t necessarily think its whooping cough, but he has a bad cough.

  25. mama says

    my daughter has a sensitivity to garlic that makes her vomit, is there another component that could be added to the cough syrup and/or stew?

    • Its_Gwen says

      is she allergic in general? Garlic eaten raw can upset almost anyone’s stomach. Onion is a good sub, but from the same family, so I’d hesitate if she’s already sensitive to garlic.

    • Its_Gwen says

      Lots of people who are vaccinated for whooping cough get it anyway…similar to flu shots. My vaccinated kids actually got this first.
      I’m grateful for finding natural ways of helping them at home.

  26. Gillian says

    Hi Gwen,
    Our daughter has just been diagnosed with pertussis and we are 3 weeks in (since the cough started). So far it only got bad for a few nights when we got a secondary sinus infection-that’s when the whooping and vomiting occurred and now it has stopped. We are using the remedies in addition to the mega C and she seems pretty good other than the odd coughing fit. My question is about school? If your kids go to public school how did they and the teacher deal with the add coughing fit and need to spit up to get phlegm out? Also did you give them your cough syrup to take to school to ward attacks off? Did it last 100 days with your kids using remedies? I’m thinking she is fine at school as long as she doesn’t have a secondary infection?

    Thanks Gillian

    • Its_Gwen says

      We had whooping cough during the summer, so I couldn’t weigh in on how to handle that. That’s a tough one. Your school nurse could probably help you brainstorm ideas though.

  27. Nikaknits says

    Hi Gwen!, I’m also a THM mama, so I was thrilled to see your name pop up when I was researching natural remedies for WC. My 23mo seems to have it, and I think my 3.5yo is in the beginning coughing stage. I’ll be shopping for soup ingredients and Vit C today. Thank you for not only posting your recipe, but also the linked articles for Vit C and essential oils. I’m 27 weeks pg, so I’m preparing myself to deal with this as well as possible while not exhausting myself. WC seems to be going around my church, with 6 cases in 3 families. I’ll be passing along this information to them. Thanks again, I’ll have to check back and let you know how it goes.

    • Tracy says

      Both my 12yo and 10 yo were fully vaccinated. At 6, my son got chicken pox even though he received varicella vax. Today both kids have whooping cough even though dtap and tdap received. No guarantees. Dr says vax are wearing off after 7-10 years. No need to be so close minded. Even the medical community knows its not certain…
      thankful for people sharing alternatives. Thank you Gwen and all other natural advocates out there. Modern medicine sometimes fails us.

    • Erin says

      I noticed that you seem to be trolling the comments on this site. Most of us are simply trying to care for our families the best way possible. Your goal seems to be showing everyone how ignorant you are. We get it! Whooping cough so called “outbreaks” happen every year, everywhere regardless of immunizations. The ones catching it are the non immunized and immunized alike. The vaccine is one of the least effective vaccines in use and has more side effects than most. Please stop calling people stupid for actually trying to care for their children. Maybe instead of wasting your time you could do some of your own research.

    • Judy Wood says

      You’re comments are irritating. My daughter got a fever of 104 from the vaccine and my son got a very hard lump in his thigh where the shot was given. I had to message it out for a long time. Those shots can be dangerous. I did not give it to my next two. When I read 35 years ago that whooping caugh could be treated by greasing the soles of the feet and putting chopped garlic on the soles I didn’t worry about it. I used that to treat a bug that was aggressively spreading on my 7 month old’s neck (she got it in swimming lessons). I chopped up a bunch of garlic, put it in a handkerchief, greased her neck first, and put it on till her neck turned red. After 2 days it was gone. It had spread half way around her neck under the skin. We were in the boundary waters at the time.
      You should read Dr Mendelsohn’s book ” How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor”.
      When my kids had scarlet fever the doctor treated it with antibiotics and it took me over a year to cure them of the yeast infection complications as a result. I would never give them the antibiotics again. They weren’t that sick and they got the same symptoms back again a month later. Same thing happened when my son was treated for ear infections. Later I learned to cure them with warm garlic/olive oil in the ear. Worked for my husband too.
      As for the Rubella vaccine I don’t believe that either. My mom had Rubella at the most dangerous time when pregnant with my brother. Doctors even wanted to abort him. There was nothing wrong with him. Those vaccines a scare tactics. Have you ever read the warning of the things they can cause, even death.
      You are the one who is stupid.
      An informed mom who learned the hard way.

  28. Kim says

    Thanks so much for the articles! Great info! I was wondering if you had any thoughts on vitamin c dosage during whooping cough for a pregnant woman?

  29. Maria says

    Gwen thank you for your info and your share. My question is, would there be a substitute for onions and yeasts? My child is allergic to onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and yeasts constipate her terribly. She is fine but I want to gather info should anything happen.


    • Its_Gwen says

      Hi Maria,
      In that case, I’d leave off those ingredients, and simply use the others instead. And you may want to look for a Dr. who understands the methylation pathways, and have her tested for a mutation in her sulfur processing pathway. ♥

  30. Maloree says

    Hi! I have a question about the stew recipe. My understanding was that any type of dairy will cause a mucus production. So the 2T of butter in the recipe makes me wonder if I should replace it with a different fat. Coconut oil? Or olive oil? Would either of these work? Or is this such a low dose of dairy that I shouldn’t worry about it? Thank you for your information!!

    • Gwen says

      The issue with dairy lies on the type of dairy proteins in the milk. Since butter contains very little in the way of proteins, I’d not be concerned with it unless the person has a dairy allergy. If you’d like to know more about dairy proteins and the type that causes mucous production, look up A1 and A2 dairy. :) It’s a fascinating topic!

  31. Jill Shelley says

    So thankful I found your blog post. Bless you for sharing it. I was exposed to whooping cough 8 days ago. I have a garlic clove in my mouth right now. I’m hoping you are still checking this post because would you mind telling me how much turmeric you put in your lemon/honey cough syrup? And do you use the raw honey for that?

    • Gwen says

      Hi Jill,
      I put between a 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric into the cough syrup. I do use raw honey for our family. When my youngest was a baby I made his with maple syrup instead of honey.

  32. Toni says

    I have a 4 yo, 2 yo, and 5 month old. Two days ago, the 2 yo came down with a fever and cough and today a runny nose started. Meanwhile, the media is talking about this year’s whooping cough outbreak and I am concerned that his cold will develop into pertussis and the baby will get it too. So I start looking up whooping cough info (and my concern turns to terror) and I come across your series on whooping cough. What a gift from God. Thank you so much for your thorough research and thoughtful remedies. I will be giving your recipes a try before waiting for any coughs to develop. Maybe we can head this illness off. I am so sorry for the illness your family had to endure, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for arming me with knowledge and practical information to treat this nasty disease (which he may not even have) and quieting my fears. THANK YOU!

  33. Denise anderson says

    Hi! I am making this and it smells wonderful! I’m currently nursing my 6mth old and his symptoms sound like you precious little boy ( beginning stage) we have an appointment with his doc on Monday but what else did you give/do to him and yourself while also feeding him this stew?

    • Gwen says

      I did a turmeric and maple syrup blend for him that had a tiny pinch of pepper in it. He loved it! I also just was very careful to eat healthy and one thing I would have done myself is to eat a lot more high in vitamin C foods while nursing him. Hope your little guy is on the mend! ♥

  34. says

    Hi Gwen thanks for your diligence/commitment in giving those of us who have whooping cough ‘a way through it’ (have had it 3 times in last 12 months and its taken me awhile to beat it). If I may one of the titles used in the bible for God is ‘The Great Physician’ and being the Creator its no suprise that the best remedy for most sickness is found in God’s medicine cabinet (eg Garlic) along with general medicine training for diagnostic purposes/emergencies. The best and most thorough Medicine Practioner I come across are the Doctors/Nurses who take on Natural medicine with their general training using faith in God/prayer (especially for cancer and other life threatening diseases because when you are dying one needs answers/hope beyond the grave eg ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’Jesus speaking to the Thief on the Cross) along with proven conservative natural medicine that have been around for thousands of years and ongoing commitment to research/learning. God bless your blog and I will try your soup.Pat

    • says

      You cannot know, Patrick, how very helpful it has been to read that you have had 3 episodes of whooping cough in 12 months. I have been searching the net for days to find out if this is possible. I feel I am having a repetition of the same symptoms I had back in late December that took 3 weeks to resolve without medical care (used a concoction similar to Gwen’s recipe, and I am now using hers with the added turmeric). This time I did go to our local medical clinic and took a course of antibiotics. No one there thought to check for Bordetella pertussis nor B. parapertussis. I learned of the possibility while weaving on a loom at work and having a conversation with a visiting weaver who noticed my episode of paroxysmal cough and said she was an ER nurse whose whole ER dept went through a bout of whooping cough that was determined to be the Bordetella parapertussis. Thus began my search. My symptoms are identical to the para-version of whooping cough. (I was off the ABX when I went back to work.) If you have any suggestions for dealing with the cough besides this remedy Gwen posted I am looking for help. I am a musician and have a gig this Friday that I don’t think I’ll be able to sing for. Praying the honey/lemon/garlic/ginger/turmeric is a miracle. I need one!

  35. Sarah S says

    Thank you so much for this page. This is exactly what I was trying to put together myself when I found your blog, and most of the work done for me! It’s nice to have the direct connections between exactly what the illness is doing and what the components of the treatment will do.

    I have couple of questions for you. First, you don’t mention chicken, broth, spinach, or yeast as part of the remedy, but they are included in the soup recipe. Are they just for flavor? Good measure (nutrition-wise)? Or do they serve a medicinal purpose (and what is it, please)? I tried to read all the comments in hopes of finding out, but there are just too many. :/

    • says

      Excellent question! The spinach is also high in beta carotene, and the yeast is listed as being a great source of Beta-1,3-D-glucan. I used chicken broth to add flavor and just as a substrate to get the consistency right.

  36. Lataya Murphy says

    you are a wonderful mom and I thank you so very much for your help my daughter is 5 months and I think she has the symptoms thank you thank you!

  37. Kelley says

    Hi Gwen!
    I’m so thankful to have come across your blog! I use and share your website so much that I don’t know what I’d do without it now!

    I love your homemade cough syrup and my kids do too!

    We also love your whooping cough stew, even though we didn’t have whooping cough when I made it last (Thank God!). It’s SO soothing and delicious! I was going to make it again, but I wanted to know what kind of yeast to put in. I didn’t have any the last time around.
    I have some packets of active dry yeast, but I wasn’t sure if there is a different kind that’s better to use.
    Thanks so much for sharing your amazing recipes and for your research!!!

  38. Scout says

    Just tried to hold garlic in my mouth as a preventative measure as family has whooping cough – it burns my cheeks! Any tips??

    • says

      Some people are just VERY sensitive to garlic, and that may be due to a sensitivity to sulphur…which the antibiotic properties of garlic fall into that category. Try using it as a garlic compress, like I show here, and just be aware and keep moving it if you’re getting a burning sensation. If you’re very sensitive, it may be a good idea to try a different approach.

  39. Sonya says

    Hi Gwen, I haven’t written before but I wanted to let you know- I make this soup for my kids when they have a cough and it always seems to help. I also make sure they get extra vitamin C. I even recommended it to others a couple of times for coughs with colds and it seems to help :) thanks so much for posting it!

  40. Ann says

    Thank you so much for all your work.Thankfully my kids never had whooping cough or any other infectious diseases, and rarely get sick (once every 1-2 years with just a normal cold).Yes,they are not vaccinated and fully breastfed (2-4+ years) and I’m proud to say it.Every single vaccinated child I know is always sick with pretty much every disease out there.I feed my kids 100% organic,grass fed and pasture raised food made from scratch.I always look for recipes for just in case.The soup sounds great for even when healthy.We do eat garlic with pretty much everything on a daily basis,same for oregano.Unfortunately my son is allergic to chicken,and is gluten free (that thanks to my celiac disease), so was wondering what should I use instead in case one day I might need this recipe. He also doesn’t like turkey.We also juice carrots with celery and spinach,and make smoothies.So far seems that whole foods are helping tremendously by keeping my family healthy.I just hope it will stay this way.

  41. Kelly Murphy says

    Thank you so much. It can be scary when you realise your child has whooping cough, and the “should I have vaccinated” doubts creeps in. So good to find resources to help heal the way my heart feels is right.

  42. Crystal says

    My almost 3 year old was just discharged from the hospital last night after being admitted Wednesday afternoon for dehydration from vomiting from her coughing fits and having diarrhea. I had taken her in after calling the paramedics because she turned blueish while having a coughing fit during her nap. It all started when she came back from her dad’s from memorial day weekend and he stated the cough started that Sunday, we went to the ER by Saturday 2am got an xray diagnosed with bronchiolitis and prescribed an albuterol inhaler, benadryl, and antibiotics after i declined the antibiotic shot because when i asked what he had in mind the dr responded with ‘i don’t know, something for pneumonia.” I did not fill his scripts since I didn’t trust his judgement. I took Xyla to a Naturopathic Dr on Monday, they treated based on the results from xray with natural remedies and albuterol solution for nebulizer and after days of no progress suggested a whooping cough swab but stated it would be more fro reporting and just knowing than for treatment… When we had our 2nd visit to an ER on Monday they gave my daughter one dose of steroids that they said would last for 2 days and that the typical cough lasts 28 days… Our 3rd ER visit which landed us in the phoenix children’s hospital is when they swabbed for pertussis (once in the ER and twice at the pediatric sector because of wanting to get results sooner, my poor daughter…) so she tested positive for pertussis and for adenovirus… she had another bout of turning bluish today and hospital says there’s nothing we can do unless it’s happening frequently or she stops peeing and pooping or isn’t responding… they did put her and eveyone else in my household on antibiotics, which I’m supposed to give her the 3rd dose today… But I’m scared. I read the antibiotics could make the cough worse… but I also don’t think I should stop the antibiotics for fear that only the weaker bacteria has died off and the stronger is left behind to multiply. .. I want to start the vitamin c today and picked up the only non gmo powdered ones I could find at sprouts which are alive! Fruit based vitamin c and rainbow light calcium ascorbate vitamin c which after reading reviews for the nature’s way alive I’m not wanting to give her that one… I bought magnesium oil to keep her body relaxed during coughing fits and have been applying thieves oil. Thinking about starting saline in nebulizer with colloidal silver again. I’m having trouble supplementing with nutrition since she’s being an extra picky eater. I’m wondering if you have recommendations on a good vitamin c to use? Also, I have been giving her drosera homeopathic pellets and herbal vitality baby cough tincture that helps break down mucous. We hadn’t done our natural remedies except for probiotic and multi vitamin while in the hospital because they wanted to see how she was doing without anything else and until we got results. Also, my daughter is not vaccinated and i had just weaned from nursing a few weeks before she had the cough and started back up as soon as I didn’t see her getting better. Since it’s been 3 weeks since symptoms started, would it be safe to say I’m in the clear for getting WC myself?…. I did start feeling sick Wednesday night and asthma acting up but I had a serious talk with my body and said eff you to the virus, I refused to let it affect me. This has got to be one of the hardest things to go through and I’ve cried quite a few times throughout the last 3 weeks. I’m exhausted and just want her to stop coughing. I’m curious to look up some Chinese medicine techniques for pertussis. Hope I make sense as I am delirious from lack of sleep and emotions.♡

    • says

      Hi Crystal, I’m SO sorry about what you’re going through. It would still be possible for you to come down with WC, but if you’ve had it in the past you may be immune, and it usually presents much milder for adults.

      From my reading, you’re not really fighting germs at this point (although you do want to avoid secondary infections), but mainly you want to give her body the nutrients it needs to rebuild the lungs from the damage that the bacteria has already done. I like whole foods C, meaning from citrus fruits and the like. If you’re wanting a chewable or pill form, go for one with bioflavanoids. Acerola cherry powder is a great natural form of vitamin C, and can be stirred into applesauce or juice.

      What worked best for us is the lemon, honey, turmeric cough syrup I made for my kids, and the stew that I share in this post. <3

  43. Goran says

    Hi. Thank you wery much for this blog. Our child also suufer probably from whooping cought. Our 4 year dother was vacinated, but probably had whooping cought. The smallest one 9 months is probably in the second fase. The doctors poorly diagnose joust the symptoms, and prescrived antibiotics and antigistaminic… Well the recipe you give is wery good and i think it helps. Oat was not used becouse it helps to product muccus, joust barley. Thank you again to share it.
    Goran Goles

  44. Alicia says

    Hi Gwen! Thank you so much for your blog. Two of my 5 kiddos have a terrible case of whooping cough. In a panic, while up all night with my vomiting 8 year old, I stumbled across your blog in search for answers on how to help him. We have started the high doses of vitamin C, and I have made your cough syrup. My daughter also has hemorrhages in both eyes from coughing so hard. Poor girl! Thank you so much for your blog. It has given me some measure of relief from the anxiety I feel over all this. I will keep you posted!

  45. Stephanie says

    How often would you recommend giving the tumeric cough syrup, my baby is 15 months old and we are in the the coughing fit stage. It’s so scary

    • says

      I gave it to my kids as often as they wanted it, and whenever they coughed. And for young ones, I used maple syrup instead of honey. If you get the syrup sweet enough, my kids really like it and ask for it!

  46. Itzel G says

    I believe my 2 year old and my 6 month old have whooping cough . My 6 month old is still exclusively breastfeeding (I was about to start him on solids when he began showing symptoms). Will it help if I take the carrots, garlic, oats etc and just keep breastfeeding? Or should I start him on solids with these foods? What would you do?

  47. Tammy Childers says

    My 2.5 year old granddaughter has WC, or possibly parapertussis, which she got from her cousins who got from kids at school after school immunizations. I am praying it’s the para since from what I’ve read doesn’t last as long. Her cough breaks my heart. My daughter and her 2 little ones are living w/ us while her husband is deployed. My biggest concern is her 4 month old baby brother who has had a rough start due to a few different reasons. Besides my daughter eating this soup, and treating herself with Vitamin C, etc., are there are other suggestions out there in case he does get it? Thank you! I’m so glad I found this blog. I am making this soup as I type.

  48. Melissa says

    Hi! First I must say your research and info is impeccable! I’m hoping you’ll still see this comment though it’s been a few years since you posted this. My daughter is 3 and has come down with what we thought was a mild case of croup. My other 3 kids had a cold the week before that appeared to turn into laryngitis so croup seemed like a good fit. She had a low grade fever, runny nose and sounded seal like but hasn’t developed a really persistent cough so we haven’t seen anything really decisive. We have a long history of asthma here so the doctor gave her nebulizer treatments and they seem to be helping. Then this morning during a breathing treatment she had a dry cough with the classic whoop. She may have just had some saliva go down the wrong pipe but I have a 4 month old so I’m wondering if you can give any insight into how to differentiate? As you stated the info on whooping cough is minimal at best. I found the info you shared but there’s just nothing tangible. Her doctor seemed to use the “does she vomit after coughing” as the gold standard for diagnosis. I should mention she wasn’t coughing prior to starting the nebulizer last night and hasn’t had any coughing fits prior. This is also only been going on since Thursday.

    • says

      Hi Melissa! You’ve got a lot on your plate! I hope you’ve gotten some answers by now. The only real gold standard is the swab test as far as I know, but usually exposure to a confirmed case is also considered valid as far as diagnosing. I’d strongly consider getting a swab. Also, if you’ve not read my post on bitters and rabbit tobacco, those are both great ones for kids with lung issues like asthma.

  49. Leah says

    Hi there, my 18 mo old tested positive for Pertussis a few days ago. My three year old also has it.. same horrible coughing fits until she throws up. Our other three kids are coughing so it’s possible they have it too.. we are exhausted, as the two that have the whooping cough symptoms are up all night.. coughing to the point of vomiting. I made a batch of your cough syrup last night and I’m wondering.. should I have peeled the ginger and tumeric before smashing it? I don’t ever cool with these in the root form so just not familiar with them.. after I added them I thought hmmmm.. should those be peeled?! Looking forward to dosing my kids up with this today! How many doses do you think they need for it to be effective? Hoping they like it!!!

  50. Lisa says

    Hi Gwen, I just found and joined your blog. What a lovely, lovely family you have and ditto for your blog. Two years ago, my husband and I moved to Wa state, we contracted whooping cough and as you well know, it’s horrendous! I wish I’d found your blog back then. The only thing the doctor could prescribe was a fairly addictive cough syrup with Codeine. It was only for nighttime to try to sleep. It was just okay and a hassle to get refilled. Due to the USA drug epidemic doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies don’t trust actual patients with prescribed medications. Anyway, if I had known of your remedies and excellent research I wouldn’t have bothered with the “medicine”. It took us nearly 6 months to recover, my husbands coughing fits were so severe at times, he would pass out briefly. I don’t know if you vaccinate your children or not (I don’t judge either way) but they’ve discovered that it only lasts about 6 months anyway, not years like they thought. Also, you’re not immune by getting the disease, it can be aquired repeatedly. But, thank you for these wonderful home remedies and all the research you have shared. God Bless you.

  51. Susy says

    Thank you so much for this post. We are in the middle of this with my three kids the 1 year old having it the worst. The older two are taking the cough syrup. And now I’ll be adding tumuring yet too. I also apply coconut oil infused with garlic to their chest and back. Now i’ll be making the stew too. I was thinking about going to the doctor, but this has givin me courage to help them get well at home.

    • Constance says

      LOL, I just posted a comment about using coconut oil and coconut water for whooping cough. I think it would be beneficial as coconut oil is an Anti Bacterial and Anti viral. Coconut Water is filled with Electrolytes as well. Also, I have read that Al poic Acid is found in coconut oil and that breast milk is one of the other places to find it. So I would think that nursing moms should cook with it as well. I do wonder if it wouldn’t be wise to add warmed coconut oil to a formula fed baby’s feedings…does anyone know if that would be OK for a bottle fed infant? And how much and how often would be beneficial?

  52. Rachael says

    This is amazing, I really appreciate the care, time and research you have put into this, and i really appreciate you sharing it with all of us.
    I love how you use turmeric for headaches etc, I’ve never been a fan of using pain killers especially for a simple headache, so this is really great to read as I want to learn more about natural remedies.

    Currently have whooping cough myself (I suspect, I did have it when i was younger so can compare to then) and doctors bills etc and modern medicine i’m just not keen. But i’m also not enjoying waiting it out however haha,It’s been awful and it has been waking me up throughout the night and sometimes the fits are so bad that i end up vomiting.

    Thanks again Gwen it’s amazing you do this for yourself and your family but its even more amazing you taking the time to write and share for everyone cause it is a massive help.

  53. Becky says

    Ill be having your stew tomorrow… Week 3 off coughing… I’m using organic honey, black seed oil. A week of garlic capsules. 5 days anti biotics (which only makes it not contagious) also fresh lemon, lime (no wax) and honey with now black seed oil and hot water). Only realised it was whooping cough about 5 min before reading your blog. It was the coughing like I was choking, running to the bathroom each time as it then develops to a drowning sensation, gasping for air and convulsions. This is such a great illness to have. Not scary at all to random strangers as I sound like I’m about to die I front of them.

    Dr’s not once mentioned whooping cough. I’m in the UK. But thanks for your post. It’s helped me understand and given me what looks like my dinner tomorrow night

  54. Constance says

    Hi Gwen!
    Have you heard anything about using coconut oil and coconut water for whooping cough? As I was reading I remembered that coconut oil is anti Bacterial and anti viral….And coconut water is filled with Electrolytes. If anyone has had experiences in this being benfitial please post your results. Thank you!

  55. Alexandre says

    Hi Gwen. Thanks so much for all this information and also the chance for other leave their notes. It has helped so much.
    Our child has Pertussis and we’re treating with Vit C, homeopathics and syrup with turmeric with great results.
    My question is about when to let our 3,5 years old daughter have a normal life, going back to school and to the park. I have been trying to get this information but seams not to be very clear about the contagious cycle. When does it stops being contagious? When did you let your kids play free in a park or go to school, etc…



    • says

      Hi Alexandre,
      That’s a tough question, and one that I didn’t have to answer, because we homeschooled during that time. On one hand, the CDC website says that the infectious stage is over prior to coughing beginning, but then it also seems to contradict itself by recommending antibiotics after the coughing starts.

      I do know that being thoughtful of spreading it is really important, because of the risk posed to new babies and the elderly. Even school children go home to families with tiny ones, so it’s important to consider that.
      Do you have a pediatrician that can answer that for you? You will probably have to have a doctors note anyway for school.

  56. Kim says

    Just figured out that we have the whooping cough that is going through a summer camp that 4 of my older kids are working at. All but myself have come down with it so far. 12 in all. My oldest is 21, severely handicapped and is the last one to come down with it. He’s had symptoms for almost 2 weeks now. I was looking for if goldenseal could be used with these things too? I heard goldenseal and olive leaf need to be set apart from each other. Any advice on adding goldenseal to the mix? I started the honey/turmeric 2 days ago and did the soup last night and tonight. He doesn’t seem to be getting terribly worse, but not better as of yet either. A 10 yr old and then DH have it so bad they have been throwing up several times a day for weeks now.

    • says

      I did’t really approach the coughing phase with anti-microbials. At that point, the infection is usually over and the damage is done. It may be helpful for those who have not yet gotten it?