Young man with handkerchief about to sneeze
ClaudioValdes/iStock/Getty Images

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. Although inoculation has reduced the incidence of the disease in children, the effectiveness of the vaccine fades over time. This is why whooping cough occurs in teens and adults. Antibiotics kill the bacteria responsible for whooping cough, but there are few options for relieving the cough and mucus buildup in the lungs. Complementary medicine has used oregano for respiratory infections, although scientific evidence for its effectiveness in whooping cough is lacking. Oregano has antispasmodic, antibacterial and expectorant properties, according to These properties may help oregano clear mucus from the lungs and ease coughing. Consult your doctor before using oregano to help relieve the symptoms of whooping cough.

Boil 2 quarts of water in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the stove and add three to six drops of pure oregano oil to the water. Allow the oil to mix with the hot water for one minute.

Lean over the saucepan and breathe in the vapor. Repeat this vapor treatment two or three times a day to help break up mucus and ease coughing. Alternatively, you can place a towel over your head and around the pan to increase the steaming effect.

Make a chest rub by adding 15 drops of oregano oil to 1 oz. of a carrier oil like olive oil, jojoba oil or almond oil. Rub the mixture on your chest before going to bed. The vapors may help to ease coughing during the night.

Take oregano oil capsules to help boost the immune system. Dosages vary depending on the manufacturer. Follow the package directions.

Dilute the essential oil in water as an alternative to oregano oil capsules. Add one or two drops of oil of oregano to 2 oz. of water. Drink the solution once or twice a day.