Whooping Cough (Pertussis) – Using essential oils to help

by Penny Keay © 2012

Pertussis is a serious bacterial infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. The disease gets its common name ‘Whooping cough’ from the sound made as the infant or child inhales air after having a coughing fit.

Coughing comes in spasmodic events leaving the child gasping for more air and making the ‘whooping’ sound during inhalation is classic. Coughing can cause vomiting to occur. (Please see Wikipedia for more problems that can occur.)

Once your child has been diagnosed and for one, I’m sure you want them to be on the road to feeling better, essential oils can be used to help shorten the troublesome symptoms. Please advise your medical care practitioner that you would like to use essential oils to make your (child’s) recovery more comfortable.

Before I continue please be sure to use essential oils safely around children and infants. More is not better when it comes to using essential oils and Whooping cough is very serious illness that we don’t want to compound with misuse of essential oils.

The child or infant is already having difficulty breathing so you do not need to make it worse. They cannot tell you if you are using too much, so always heed the advice of aroma therapists around the world and only use continuous small amounts diffused in the air. This method is better than saturating it.

Remember too, to avoid applying peppermint or eucalyptus too close to the nose of an infant or child under 2 years, the cooling effect of these types of essential oils can cause the throat to spasm shut and can make things worse rather quickly. Remember diffusing in the air in small amounts on a continuous basis is the best way to use essential oils.

You can use essential oils to help relieve symptoms too. The number one essential oil to help with spasmodic cough is Cypress.

Of course essential oils can help with chest congestion and coughing.

Eucalyptus globulus is very well known to help with congestion Eucalyptus radiata is the preferred eucalyptus oil for use with children. It has a milder camphor smell and is less likely to cause laryngeal spasm of the throat.

Other oils may help include Cajeput, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Sweet Marjoram, Peppermint (use with caution), Pine needle , Ravensara, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Thyme.

Try this blend in the diffuser. It is safe when not diffused too long nor to strong, even for very young children.
Eucalyptus radiata - 20 drops
Lavender - 20 drops.

You can use this blend in any diffuser - if you want to use the blend all night use in afan diffuser such as the TruMelange, Spa Scenter or Fan Fuser.

A Chest Rub for Congestion
2 ounces carrier oil
Eucalyptus (use Eucalyptus radiata if possible) - 20 drops
Basil - 5 drops
Peppermint - 5 drops
Cedarwood - 5 drops

Blend essential oils then add the carrier oil - Sweet almond or Sunflower oil are excellent choices. You can use just the essential oils in a diffuser by omitting the carrier oils.

And here is my all-time favorite for any type of nasal or chest congestion associate with upper respiratory system.

Better than My Mom’s Remedy
Rosemary– 80 drops (or 4 mL)
Eucalyptus radiata - 40 drops (or 2mL)
Eucalyptus globulus – 40 drops (or 2mL)
Peppermint – 20 drops (or 1mL)
Cedarwood – 5 drops
Nutmeg– 5 drops
Thyme ct. linolol – 5 drops
Pine needle - 5 drops

Blend all in a glass bottle. Mix well then use in any diffuser.

This blend can also be mixed with a lotion, cream or carrier oil or blend and applied to the skin.

Mix no more than 36 drops per 2 ounces of carrier oil or blend , lotion or cream which is about a 3% dilution

(If using a carrier oil – suggestions would be Fractionated coconut oil or Sunflower oil.)

If you will be using it on children between 5-12 years dilute it to about 15 to 20 drops per 2 ounces of carrier. Apply just a few drops of the mix to the chest. You won’t need to use a ton – like you do of that sticky ointment! And if you mix it in a lotion or Cream you won’t feel ‘sticky’ at all!

Caution: Due to the Eucalyptus globulus and Peppermint in these two blends do not use as massage oil on children or infants under 2 –and especially do not use on their chest. It is okay to diffuse at lower levels in the room.

Eucalyptus globulus and Peppermints cooling vapors can cause young children to have a spasm occur that may block their airway.

Also if used in young child’s room – only diffuse a small amount – do not saturate the air.

Remember more is not better when it comes to the use of essential oils. And we want you to use them safely especially around your precious children.

If your child has other symptoms you would like to address please use our search box and do a quick search. You will find many articles already written to help you with those too.

Of course an ‘ounce of prevention is going to be worth a pound of cure’ so if you aren’t already, start diffusing essential oils daily in your house and office.

All essential oils have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties so diffusing your favorites will help. For more specific immune system building use any of the following Bay laurel , Cinnamon leaf, Eucalyptus globulus, Frankincense, Oregano, Sage. Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Lemongrass, Myrrh , Pine needle, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme ct linalool and Vetiver, Geranium , Rosemary

AND to both build your immune system and to help you fight an active infection diffuse any of these blends include Four Robbers blend , Pure Cleansing blend , Easy Breathe Blend, Respiratory Blend , Protect Me! Blend. and of course any others that you enjoy.

Stay well and speedy recovery to one and all.

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