Treatment for whooping cough

Whooping cough is a highly infectious disease of the respiratory tract, which can be dangerous and causes extended bouts of coughing and ‘whooping’ for breath. Before the use of vaccines against this illness from the 1940s, it was a much more common problem.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a vaporiser which was said to be useful for various illnesses including whooping cough.

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For more information and pictures see our Vapo-Cresolene Vaporizer blog.

However, we also have some recipes in the Women’s Institute file on local history. This includes one for whooping cough. It came from Annie Sarah Welch, the grandmother of our museum founder, Peggy Gye and dates from 1901.

20 grams salt of tartar

10 grains powdered cochineal simmered in half a pint of water

Strain it off, add half a pound of loaf sugar and boil

This medicine was given four times a day. The dose was a tablespoon, reduced to a dessertspoon for a child of about two years and a teaspoon for infants.

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