Bordetella pertussis is responsible for one of the most common medical conditions today. No, it is not some secret organization bent on ruling the world or an evil magic spell by a certain wizard who must not be named. It is a gram-negative bacterium that causes whooping cough. Otherwise known as pertussis, whooping cough was once the stuff of nightmares. Before the 1940s, whooping cough affected more than 200,000 people each year. Thanks to advances in medical science, that figure has vastly decreased. However, pertussis is still dangerous to children especially if left untreated.
Pertussis is an infection of the respiratory tract characterized mainly by chronic cough. During the first one to two weeks, the patient will exhibit nasal congestion, mild coughing, tearing, sneezing, and low-grade fever. This is the Catarrhal phase. The next stage – Paroxysmal phase – is when the whooping sound appears. You’ll also turn red from all the coughing. Breathing will be difficult while you may also experience posttussive vomiting. The third and final stage called Convalescent stage wherein coughing becomes chronic.
Treatment, or more correctly prevention, is done nowadays through vaccination. Because the discovery of the vaccine against pertussis were successful in curbing the high figure of cases, the government and medical institutions have promoted the vaccination of children against the condition. Like in some cases of people, some in the medical world, coming out to denounce vaccines and other medications, whooping cough vaccine has its share of critics. The main argument against such vaccines is that a large percentage of people who get pertussis were in fact vaccinated. Normal cough remedies such as cough medicines will also prove useless against pertussis.
If you were to believe the latter, then you might want to learn of other ways to treat whooping cough without getting vaccinated or relying on cough medicines. Alternative medicine has its own way of treating many if not all diseases known to man and whooping cough is just one of them.
In homeopathy, whooping cough is treated using Drosera (sundew), Ipecacuanha, Pertussin, Pulsatilla and other remedies. Herbal medicines made from comfrey oil, coltsfoot, elecampane, licorice, mullein, and thyme are also useful against pertussis. Practitioners of homeopathy also suggest a diet without sugar, dairy, starchy foods and wheat. Dry food should also be avoided to prevent cough spasm. Instead, one must consume foods high in vitamins A, E and especially C. Hydration is also important to maintain the lung mucous fluid.
An herbal cough syrup made from elecampane and wild cherry bark mixed with honey and water may also help. Garlic syrup, made using chopped garlic, water and apple cider vinegar, is also a popular home remedy for whooping cough.
Acupuncture, the traditional Chinese healing practice, may also help against whooping cough. In fact, the World Health Organization has recognized its positive effect on the condition. The use of essential oils made of camphor, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil will help to relieve whooping cough symptoms by simply massaging any one of them on the back and chest.
Once you get pertussis, it is important to take a break from your everyday activities. Full rest is imperative for your recovery.