There are many types of coughs, some of which accompany a cold. Others are caused by chemicals, infections such as ear and tonsil infections, excess catarrh, inflammation of the airways, and many other things.
- There are many herbs that encourage the body to fight off infections, and they can be taken daily, for as long as your child is suffering from the cough. They include echinacea and thyme.
- If the cough is accompanied by a fever, try infusions of chamomile and yarrow.
- Comfrey and coltsfoot are useful expectorants, which will help to expel the mucus from the lungs and airways – use about ten drops of each tincture and mix with some warmed honey and serve by the teaspoonful as necessary.
- Thyme can be infused and used to treat a wet cough.
- When the mucus is tough to shift, try strong infusions of ginger and fennel or thyme.
- Belladonna can be taken when the cough rs accompanied by a fever and the child has bright red cheeks and neck.
- Try Aconite if the symptoms come on suddenly.
- Chamomilla will soothe a child who is inconsolable, but better for being held.
- Pulsatilla may be useful if there is a thick yellow discharge and your child is clingy and tearful.
- Antimonium tart, is useful for a cough that causes the chest to rattle and makes breathing painful.
- Bryonia is for a painful, dry cough, which is made worse with movement.
- Spongia is excellent for croup (see opposite), and for a loud, crowing cough.
- Use Drosera for a tickling cough that is worse for lying down.
- Use Rescue Remedy when your child experiences distress, or panics because breathing is difficult. Rescue Remedy will also help your child to sleep. A few drops can be taken internally, or applied to pulse points, and Rescue Remedy cream can be rubbed into the chest.
- Add a few drops of eucalyptus and sandalwood to a carrier oil, or some petroleum jelly, and rub into the chest and upper back.
- Myrrh can be massaged in the same way to reduce mucus. Use a few drops on a cloth tied to the crib or bed. Lavender oil on a cloth or pillow will encourage sleep and aid the healing process.
- Use lavender, myrrh, eucalyptus, or thyme in a vaporizer.
- A few drops of essential oil of thyme, pine, cinnamon, clove, or eucalyptus can be used in combination or singly in a footbath to ease congestion.
From the larder
- Give your child lots of honey, which has antibacterial action and will also soothe a sore throat.
- Fresh garlic should be eaten as often as possible to cleanse the blood, improve the encourage healing.
- Lemon and honey will
- soothe a sore throat and ease a tickly cough.
- Blackcurrant tea will ease the pain of a sore throat and help to reduce catarrh.
- Ginger, added to meals, will help to get rid of any lingering catarrh.
- Pineapples are traditionally used for expelling excess catarrh.
- Plenty of fluids and bed rest will make it easier for your child to shift a cough. Offer only fluids for the first couple of days, and then just light meals, avoiding dairy produce altogether until the catarrh has shifted.
- Take steps to boost the immune system.
- Try not to use proprietary cough medtones, which will suppress symptoms but not rid the body of the catarrh, which may become infected.
- Cool a fever by bathing with tepid water.
A spoonful of warmed honey will help the medicine go down. Mix it until tincture of coltsfoot or comfrey for an expectorant effect. Honey on its own has an antibacterial action.
If a cough is accompanied by a high fever, and your child has difficulty breathing, he or she may have pneumonia. See your physician immediately.
If a cough does not improve within a few days, see your physician.