13 Best Essential Oils for Whooping Cough in 2022

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Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory condition typically caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. You may have heard it referred to as “pertussis.”

What makes the whooping cough different from a regular cough is the high-pitch hacking cough that comes with it. When the person breathes in after coughing, there is a “whoop” sound that accompanies it.

Coughing is often severe and uncontrollable and very easy to pass along in the air to the next person. It can last up to 2 months. It mostly affects infants and children however, can also impact the elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

There are specific essential oils for whooping cough that you can use to help ease symptoms and find relief!

Read on to learn more.

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Symptoms of Whooping Cough

Symptoms of the whooping cough include

  • coughing fits
  • vomiting
  • trouble breathing
  • flu like symptoms
  • fever

How Whooping Cough Develops

Once infected with the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, there is a 21-day incubation period. You may begin to feel flu-like symptoms and a mild to moderate cough. Once the incubation period is over, the mild cough will turn more severe and coughing fits will begin to occur up to 20 times a day. Coughing should be at its worst after a couple of weeks.

Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough

Coughing can become so severe that it becomes difficult to cough up mucus and even breathe. It can also cause vomiting and dehydration. It’s very important to see your doctor for medical advice if you have any concerns.

Here are some natural ways to help deal with the whopping cough!

  • Stay hydrated. Make sure you and your child are drinking plenty of fluids. Consuming bone broth is a great way to stay hydrated and get in much needed nutrients! Drink it warm to soothe the throat for a bonus!
  • Use an air purifier. I have one of these going all the time in my apartment! They help purify the air and will help lessen the chance of spreading the germs in the air.
  • Allow for fresh air to enter the room by cracking a window.
essential oils for whooping cough

13 Best Essential Oils for Whooping Cough

Below are the 13 most helpful essential oils for whooping cough you can use for support in breathing, coughing, and disinfecting. Also included is the safe age per essential oil.


Cajeput essential oil will really work its magic when you use it for its antibacterial properties. It is one of the most effective oils against bacterial infection.

Safe for children 6 years+

Cedarwood Altas

Cedarwood is known for being able to fight harmful bacteria as well as being a decongestant. It can help soften and loosen mucus you’re having trouble coughing up.

Safe for children 6 months+

Cinnamon Leaf

Cinnamon acts as an antiseptic and can help ease those flu-like symptoms. And if you experience vomiting, cinnamon helps soothe the digestive system.

Safe for children 6 months+


Cypress has long been used for its medicinal properties. It’s most helpful when used in a chest rub to ease coughing or even help with bronchitis.

Safe for children 6 months+


Eucalyptus essential oil is most known as being the best antiseptic out there. It has some serious power to kill infection causing bacteria. It also provides flu and cold relief.

Safe for children 10 years+


Frankincense is the be all do all essential oil. If you can only have one essential oil, make sure it’s this one. It has the power to eliminate infection-causing bacteria, loosen mucus and expel it, control breathing, and provide relief from the whooping cough.

Safe for children 2 years+


Lavender is a must have is every essential oil home cabinet. It is incredibly versatile, providing relief from stress and anxiety, and promotes sleep! But did you also know it can kill bacteria, loosen mucus, and help in a chest rub to ease coughing symptoms?

Safe for children 3 months+


Niaouli essential oil is closely related to cajeput, but better at using directly on the skin. It is very powerful when used with the respiratory system. It’ll help loosen and expel mucus. It can be an effective treatment for whooping cough.

Safe for children 6 years+


One of the most underrated essential oils, palmarosa is an effective antibacterial. Diffuse it into the air and experience some stress and anxiety relief.

Safe for children 6 months+


Peppermint contains natural menthol, which is found in many of the over-the-counter products. It makes an excellent natural chest rub! Breathing it in can also help promote mucus breakdown, prevent infection, and provide a cooling effect all over.

Safe for children 6 years+


This essential oil is excellent for respiratory infections and helpful in trying to get rid of mucus.

Safe for children 6 months+


When choosing thyme, be sure to choose thyme linalool. It’s safer for children. Thyme will help stimulate the immune system while also promoting a healthy digestive system. It also acts as a disinfectant in the actual respiratory tract, by loosening and breaking down mucus.

Safe for children 2 years+

How to Use Essential Oils for Whooping Cough

Here are some of the ways you can use essential oils for whooping cough!

Essential Oil Diffuser

Cinnamon leaf, thyme, and oregano essential oils have antibacterial properties that make them perfect for disinfecting the air in a diffuser. For every 100 ml of water, add about 15 drops of essential oils and diffuse up to 3 times a day for 20 minutes at a time.

This is a great way to keep the air disinfected for less chance of airborne bacteria spread!

Spray Bottle

Creating a disinfectant in a spray bottle can help keep surfaces clean and germ free.


  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 8 oz glass amber spray bottle


  • Fill up the spray bottle with the essential oils, water, and vinegar.
  • Shake well to mix up.
  • Prior to cleaning surfaces, shake well so the ingredients mix appropriately.

This is a non-toxic disinfectant spray that I would recommend using all the time, not just when you’re sick.

Make a Chest Rub

To help ease coughing, try making a homemade chest rub, similar to the conventional over-the-counter vapor rubs.


  • Small glass container
  • 3 oz carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops cypress essential oil
  • 2 drops cajeput essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops niaouli essential oil


  • Mix together the carrier oil and essential oils in the small container
  • Apply up to 3 times daily to help ease cough symptoms and mucus expectoration

Steam Inhalation

Heat up a cup of water and add in 20 drops of essential oils. Inhale the steam. This can help keep the airways moist and soothe coughing spells.

I would like to stress, that while I fully believe in home remedies and the power of essential oils for whooping cough, if you have any concerns or if you’re child experiences a severe fit, please go seek medical attention immediately!

Have you had any experience with whooping cough and essential oils? Let me know below!

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