Oct 31, 2012


     An affliction of young children, usually between six months and two years of age, croup is an inflammation and obstruction of the larynx that often follows a viral infection of the respiratory tract. A painful, honking cough, harsh breathing, rising pulse rate, restlessness and irritability are common but alarming symptoms.

      So is cyanosis, a bluish tint in the skin caused by oxygen deprivation. In orthodox medicine, croup is treated with humidification and mild sedatives.

      The herbal therapy is similar. A steam vaporizer containing a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, sage or thyme essential oil helps bring relief, especially if left on overnight. Warm lemonade, fresh juices diluted with water and chamomile tea are all recommended. Lobelia is a powerful muscle relaxer that can be added in tea or tincture form to any liquid the child will take. In fact, any of the relaxing nervines will help, including chamomile, oatstraw and valerian. Massaging the chest with an aromatic balm is also recommended