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Remedies for croup

Perhaps it is the blustery cold dry winds we had yesterday in Calgary or it’s simply that in writing blogs about homeopathy and childhood illnesses, I am reminded of my oldest son’s croup. It was in the fall of 1982 and Mark was just a year old. Thankfully, we were visiting my parents at the time. I had no idea what was happening and it was my mom who said fairly calmly, he has croup. She helped us survive that night with a humidifier and TLC. Mark went on to have many more episodes of croup and cough throughout childhood; so many episodes in fact that his nickname was Mark the Bark.

All our family doctor was able to offer was a heavy-duty cough medication just so that we could all get some sleep. It was usually a week before the cough loosened and a good two weeks before Mark’s health returned to normal. To this day I regret the use of prescription cough medication but we were all sleep deprived and desperate!

After Mark’s first episode of croup, when I had most of my mental faculties working after some sleep, I remembered my own encounters with croup. I was hospitalized at least once that I recall. I had been placed in a room that was filled with steam and in my delirium, through the fog of humidity, I was sure that my grandma had come to visit. Turns out it was the nurse and all hopes of a familiar loving face vanished, like the mist that lifted with the morning hospital routine.

To this day, if I get a cough, it often has a ‘croupy’ quality to it. And Mark can often get a ‘croupy’ sound when he gets a cold and cough. But now I have homeopathy in my life and how I wish I had known about it as a young mother! I also find myself wishing that my mom had also known about homeopathy. It is so effective and I am grateful that I can share information with today’s parents on how to use homeopathy during an episode of croup, especially croup that comes on during or after cold dry winds.

Yep…that’s right! With homeopathy, causation can be an important part of your child’s symptoms and part of the homeopathic remedy picture. There is a trio of homeopathic remedies that will be of help in croup for 75% of children, 75% of the time. For 25% of children, a homeopathic consult may be required. Because homeopathy is all about matching the child’s unique symptom picture with a similar remedy picture, a consult will help determine what would be best for your child.

So what is the trio? Aconite (Aconitum napellus), Spongia (Spongia tosta) and Hepar sulph (Hepar sulphuris calcareum). If you have children who have croup from time to time, these are three remedies that you will want to learn and have in your home kit. Here is a brief description of each of the remedies:

Aconite –  This is the first remedy to think of within the first 24 hours of sudden onset of the cold. Cold symptoms can arise from shock, fright or being exposed to cold, dry winds or getting chilled. There may be fears that are intense and the sufferer is restless, hot, dry and thirsty. It may seem like “just a cold” to you but for someone needing Aconite they may feel “as if they are dying”! They may have a watery nose with a headache or nosebleed. If your child is prone to croup and is developing it with a viral cold infection, think of Aconite.

Spongia – This is the great homoeopathic croup remedy, but it always comes in after Aconite. The breathing is harsh, sawing and hard as if the patient were breathing through a sponge. Hard barking ringing cough with scanty expectoration: in fact, it seems to get tighter and tighter every minute and almost threatens suffocation. It is worse before midnight. [this link will take you to one of the best online homeopathic journals]

Hepar sulphur – This is the third of the great croup trinity, and it follows Spongia well. It has the same croupy sound, but there is a certain amount of moisture to it; it has a “loose edge.” It comes on after dry, cold winds, the breathing is whistling and there is great sensitiveness to the cold air. There must be some looseness of the cough to indicate Hepar; in fact, the child is apt to have choking fits with the cough. Boenninghausen treated croup almost exclusively with these three remedies. His method was to give five powders; first, he gave a powder of No.1 (Aconite) in water so as not to make the patient cough; he waited two hours and if necessary gave powder No.2 (Aconite) and followed after two or three hours, if necessary, with No.3 (Spongia). The others, No. 4 (Spongia) and No.5 (Hepar), were given if necessary, but he always waited two to four hours between the doses. Hardly one in a hundred received all five powders, and he treated, it is said, over 400 cases without losing one. All this emphasizes the value of these remedies in croup. [this link will take you to one of the best online homeopathic journals]

You will find that your child recovers very quickly from croup when you use homeopathy, which means that all of you will get much needed sleep sooner! And rather than using prescription cough medication with potential side effects, you will have strengthened your child’s immune system with medicine that is non-toxic and gentle, supporting the body’s own ability to heal itself.

I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have any ‘croup’ stories to share!

Yours in Grace and Gratitude,





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