Croup is a respiratory issue that often appears suddenly with a change of weather to cold, dry air. It is an upper airway infection that blocks breathing and has a distinctive barking cough and mainly occurs in children under 5 years old. The inflammation is usually caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold, and is therefore more common in winter.

In addition to a barking cough, symptoms can include fever, hoarseness and laboured or noisy breathing. Noisy breathing is known as stridor. It is a wheeze-like sound heard when a person breathes due to obstruction or narrowing of the airways in the larynx or thCommon symptoms of croup include:e trachea. Common symptoms of croup include:

Little boy receiving homeopathic medication from his mother
  • a barking cough
  • high-pitched or noisy breathing
  • hoarseness or losing your voice
  • low-grade fever
  • runny or stuffy nose

Generally croup can be managed at home with acute homeopathic remedies. Of course, if the child becomes increasingly distressed and has trouble breathing, give the appropriate homeopathic remedy and head for the hospitals emergency room.

So with the main symptom of barking cough, it will narrow down your search a fair bit. Once you add in any particular individual signs such as extremely thirsty or coated tongue or vomiting with the cough etc etc, that will lead you to the closest remedy to start with. 

My top 5 picks for croup are:


Useful at first sign of an illness. If given for 24 hours without relief it is time to retake the case and find the more suitable homeopathic medicine. Aconite is known for attacks that come on with exposure to a cold, dry wind. They may awaken from sleep early in the evening with a dry, barking cough. 

With aconite there will not be any mucous or expectoration. The child is worse with inspiration and drinking. They may also become clingy with parents due to fear of suffocating from the difficult breathing.


Appears suddenly children who were perfectly fine earlier in the day. As with all Belladonna complaints there is a marked bright redness of the cheeks and usually has a fever

There are strong paroxysms of dry, barking cough with the croup and is worse by touch or pressure on the larynx.


Has a very dry, barking cough and can sound a bit like a seal’s barking or a saw going through wood.

With Spongia there is a noisy, whistling type of stridor. The child awakens with fright from the suffocative cough. The keynote here is it is worse before midnight, cold air or cold drinks. Eating, drinking warm drinks or nursing can bring some relief. They can feel better sitting in an upright position or even bent forward a little with head bent forward.

Hepar Sulph

Has croup that appears around the early morning hours or 2-5am. There is thick, loose, rattling cough. The mucous is usually greenish in colour. Choking cough with hoarseness.

Cold air, being uncovered and getting cold, cold drinks etc all make the croup worse. The suffocative coughs can feel better by throwing head backwards to cough.


Spasmodic, dry irritative cough with bouts of cough following each other rapidly. They feel like they can scarcely breath, and choke. Vomiting may happen at the choking cough stage. You’ll note a red face and this remedy mimics Belladonna. The difference is Belladonna comes on fee and leaves just as fast. Drosera gradually builds up and tends to linger before getting better. Croup comes on after midnight, lying down, and getting warm in bed, drinking, singing, laughing.

Note: There are many homeopathic remedies that may help with croup. It is imperative to match the childs individual presentation of the cough and not of the disease. Matching the changes such as more thirsty, or feeling hot when usually cooler all can help with pinpointing the best match for your child. There is always a second remedy that will come up close to the one you choose, so you keep that as a back up remedy.

Ancillary supportive measures:

Vitamin C, Zinc lozenges, Cod-liver oil, Elderberry.

If you are needing a consultation to help with croup or recurring croup please visit my booking calendar to make a time to suit.