This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
Croup is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the larynx and trachea, or windpipe. It is one of the scourges of childhood. False membranous croup is owing to an oozing of a peculiar fluid, which thickens into apparent membranes, and adheres to the surface of the windpipe. In membranous croup, there is much greater danger than in the simpler form.
The symptoms are, difficult breathing, hoarseness, loud and shrill cough, with fever. When the symptoms are violent at first, the disease will be in all probability not fatal, as the membranous croup comes on insidiously, and is scarcely ever ushered in by high inflammation.
TREATMENT. -- An early and effective emetic is indicated in all cases. Some mechanical emetic, as ipecacuanha, alum, etc., should be preferred. Flaxseed poultices, my "Herbal Ointment," and irritating liniments should be applied to the neck. The Dover's powder should be given to promote perspiration and rest. Inhalation of vapor from hot water and mullein leaves is of great service. The bowels should be kept regular. In membranous croup, if the membrane cannot be dislodged by emetics, and suffocation is imminent, tracheotomy becomes necessary. Croup may often be prevented by tying a bag containing powdered rosin, which is electro-negative, around the throat at night.