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The other night I was awoken from sleep when I thought I heard my son calling for me. Thank goodness I kept my door open because the sound was so faint that I almost dismissed it and went back to sleep.

Upon entering his room, I heard a horrible barking cough and knew right away that my son was not well.

In this post I am going to explain exactly how I used homeopathic remedies for croup management which allowed my son to recover quickly and relatively painlessly from this otherwise scary childhood illness. As always, this is our story and should not be taken as medical advice.

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Watching your child go through illness is downright heartbreaking especially when you don’t know what to do to help them.

I hope that after reading this post you will feel empowered to use home remedies if your child gets croup because I know firsthand how well they work!

Learning homeopathy was a game changer for our family and you don’t have to know anything about it to start using it right away. It is energy medicine and eminently safe.

All you need is the proper homeopathic reference book to guide you through all sorts of illness including super contagious ones like croup.

Does your child have croup?

Croup is a viral infection most commonly caused by the parainfluenza virus and presents with some classic symptoms. (source)

  1. Begins with mild symptoms such as a runny nose
  2. Followed by a sudden onset intense respiratory symptoms at night
  3. Barking cough
  4. Wheezing
  5. Fevers
  6. Agitation

 How long does it take to cure croup?

Your child will likely have symptoms for an average of 5-10 days.

The severity and intensity depends on your child’s immune system’s strength before they contracted croup and also how you manage it.

For example, if your child has been dealing with cold after cold and THEN gets croup, it will likely stick around for a bit longer.

If you use immune boosting natural remedies like we did, you will likely have an easier time nursing your child through it.

In our case it we got croup at the beginning of our first preschool year and my son’s immune system was exposed to all kinds of new viruses. His croup infections lasted 7 full days of frustrating symptoms but he still went on to make a full recovery at home.

He also hasn’t gotten sick again since he had croup so I think it was honestly a good thing for his immune system to battle and defeat.

When to worry about croup

According to Thomas Cowan MD, childhood illnesses are essential to lay the foundation for how the immune system responds to future infections. Infectious illnesses in childhood groom the immune system to be efficient when fighting future infections and also prevent cancer cells from taking root.

This is why it is so helpful to use home remedies like homeopathy to treat croup because you are working with the body instead of stopping it in its track.

Around 3% of kids get croup during the fall through early winter and symptoms can range from mild (cold-like symptoms) to severe (difficulty breathing, severe stridor, and retractions or pulling in of the muscles around the rib cage). (1, 2)

Any time your child is experiencing severe respiratory symptoms including retractions, cyanosis (turning blue), or severe stridor, call 911 or head to a hospital. You can still give homeopathy on the way to get help.

I have personally experience how quickly children decompensate when they are struggling to breathe for too long.

That being said if you start using natural remedies for croup early on, the chance of experiencing intense symptoms is less.

Homeopathic Remedies for Croup

Treating croup with homeopathy is different than using an over the counter cough suppressant. As the infection runs its course you will have to reassess your child’s symptoms and disposition in order to use the proper remedy.

This is why it is so helpful to have lots and lots of reference books on hand. I have used this guide many times and it has served me well in my 2 years of mothering without the aid of a conventional doctor.

1. Aconite

We used Aconite first-line when I heard his dry “barking” cough because it came on suddenly. My son also had a fever which came out of nowhere. He was completely fine when we put him to bed three hours prior. That first night he was burning up with a 102.5 degree fever.

When you think of Aconite think suddenly and intensely. I took a dose of this myself for anxiety because as soon as I heard his cough and felt how warm he was I felt super panicked.

As natural healing mamas we often turn on as soon as our child gets sick so it is important to think clearly so you can manage the situation. If you feel impending fear, take a dose of Aconite yourself!

2. Belladonna

Belladonna was the second homeopathic remedy I gave my son the first night of his croup infection because his cheeks were flushed and red. This remedy is also indicated for a hoarse voice and barking cough.

According to homeopath Sue Myer, Belladonna is a viral interuptor so it is helpful to give a dose no matter what viral infection you are dealing with.

The first two nights of croup were the worst and I gave Aconite and Belladonna alternatively until he stopped rustling and fell asleep. We also kept our son sleep in our bed so we could keep an eye on his respiratory status.

3. Spongia 

Spongia tosta is one of the main croup remedies but we waited to use it until the third night of our son’s infection because his symptoms no longer fit the aconite/belladonna profile. He no longer had a fever but he continued to wake every night around 11 pm with a barking cough that caused him to choke and wheeze.

4. Kali Bichromium 

Kali Bichromium was the next remedy we used as the infection progressed.

When your body becomes infected with a pathogenic virus it goes through stages.

First comes the fever to mobilize immune cells and kill viruses. Then as the battle is won the body still needs to discard the dead immune cells and viruses. Increasing mucus production is one of the pathways the body accomplishes the purge which is why cough suppressants keep infection inside the body, prolong inflammation and create long-term problems.

Interestingly, it’s the aftermath, aka the body expelling dead viruses, that produces most symptoms such as congestion, cough, runny nose, etc. that we label as “being sick.” Your child was actually infected “sick” days ago without your knowledge.

Kali bic is indicated when there is a cough with stringy phlegm.

I personally noticed my son’s cough going from dry to productive and then copious stringy drainage coming from his nose which is why I chose this remedy.

5. Pulsatilla

Lastly, I used Pulsatilla a few times during the course of my son’s croup infection. This was on the forth-ish day of the infection when I noticed his cough was transitioning from dry to productive and he was coughing more during than day than he had before.

My son had been very moody during the day and wanted something to eat, but as soon as I made it for him he didn’t want it. That happened multiple times and is characteristic of Pulsatilla, being indecisive.

More Natural Remedies for Croup

Homeopathy is a must-use when you are dealing with viral illness because it works and makes your babies feel better!

There are other things you can do for comfort during croup including steam baths nightly, elderberry syrup, and cod liver oil for immune support.

If you can get them to drink a shot of fire cider that is really great too but you would have had to make this ahead of time.

If you are dealing with croup in babies I have some more suggestions in this post but if you have some colostrum in the freezer this would be a great time to defrost it!

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If my child doesn’t feel like eating I always offer warm homemade bone broth and smoothies made from organic food for extra nutrition and less work on the body to digest.

It is so important not to suppress the fever but stay on top of hydration. Read more about fevers here.

If your child has croup, there is a good chance other children in your household will get it because it can live on surfaces for a short while. Take measures to disinfect your home with non toxic cleaners. If your child is immunocompromised you should seek the help of a qualified provider immediately!