Croup


Dr. Dewey discusses the homeopathy treatment of Croup in his bestselling book Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics….


(Membraneous Laryngitis, False Croup.).

Aconite. [Acon]

      **Aconite is always the remedy in the beginning of croup, be it spasmodic or membranous in character. The child is suddenly aroused out of sleep gasping for breath. There is a most anxious distressed countenance, hot skin and much restlessness and tossing about. The cough is of the driest kind, loud and barking, no expectoration. If however, the remedy be continued a little while a little expectoration will appear and with it relief. Crop brought on by exposure to dry, cold winds calls for **Aconite. The remedy should not be stopped too soon; if so the trouble will return the following night. The breathing is loud, especially the inspiratory effort.

**Ferrum phosphoricum often acts well in the beginning of croup. It may be distinguished from **Aconite by the absence of anxiety and restlessness so characteristic of the latter drug **Aconite croup comes on very suddenly.

**Veratrum viride is also a very useful remedy at commencement. The anxiety of **Aconite is absent.

Spongia. [Spong]

      **Spongia 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, and it is especially well indicated in light complexioned children with blue eyes. It corresponds m;ore closely to the spasmodic form of croup than to the membraneous.

Hepar Sulphur. [Hep]

      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. In the membraneous form of croup it is useful when there are pains going from the throat to the ears and expulsion of pieces of false membrane. 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 o;f these remedies in croup. In false croup give **Hepar as soon as the child during the day, commences to cough hoarsely. It will avoid the nocturnal attacks.

Bromine. [Brom]

      Perhaps the next remedy in order is **Bromine. Its indications are a deep, hoarse voice, and every attempt at inspiration produces coughing; the breathing is hoarse, rasping and whistling and there is rattling in the larynx, and when the child coughs the larynx sounds full of mucus. With **Bromine the child is suddenly roused out of sleep as if choking and a drink of water often relieves the spasmodic condition. The sensation as if some of the membrane were loose in the larynx giving rise to this rattling, is very characteristic of this drug. There is also marked prostration.

**Antimonium tartaricum has this rattling lower down than **Bromine. (lower)

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.