Summary of her Vitamin C Protocol for the Treatment of Pertussis

Dr Suzanne Humphries

Is Ascorbate a Cure?

  • No, but the majority of parents who use it on their infected babies, and young and older children, report a significant decrease in cough intensity, with thinning and loosening of sticky mucus, within the first 24 hours of proper dosing. 

  • Ascorbate, in properly spaced, very high oral doses, will get you and your children through the weeks with vastly reduced symptoms while developing lasting immunity that will later protect those around them more effectively than vaccines can. 

  • If your child has whooping cough, the doctor will try to make you give antibiotics even though antibiotics do not shorten, or do anything, to lessen the course of the disease once the cough is full blown. The conventional medical culture does not seem to understand the damage created by antibiotics.  A Cochrane Database Syst. Review in July 18, Antibiotics for Whooping Cough says, “Any antibiotics given during full-blown infection seem to uniformly make things worse.”.

  • For further information on general care of the child during whooping cough, see paragraphs below.


Using Powdered & Lipospheric Sodium Ascorbate for Whooping Cough

  • Powdered and lipospheric sodium ascorbate are what you have to keep in the house.

  • DO NOT USE Ester-C OR Calcium Ascorbate. 


Keeping the Mucous Thin & Moving


Ascorbate and good hydration will help to keep the mucus thin. When you first start to use ascorbate, the mucus may thin out quickly and the person coughing may bring up large quantities of mucus in the first 24 hours. That is a sign of success.  As long as you keep the mucus moving, your baby or child should not get a secondary infection.



  • The child still has to cough up pooled mucus. Ascorbate thins out the mucus, making it much easier for the child to expectorate, avoiding the blue or red- in-the-face stage, because the mucus isn't as thick and moves up and out more easily. 

  • If you watch the child, they go cough, cough, . . . cough, cough, cough, cough, cough (and at this point are starting to go pink in the face, and are starting to wonder when they can have an in-breath) cough, cough, and then right at the end, they stop coughing, and the in-breath is really fast, because they want to expand their lungs, and the result can be a “whoop.” 

  • Older children don’t whoop much, if at all. 


The early progression of the cough

  • The cough will become more regular and predictable, first at night. You may get coughs every hour, on the hour. This is because it takes around an hour for the mucus to pool deeper inside the lungs. 

  • Once the cough is established, at the end of some coughs, fairly thick mucus might come up. This is because the bacterial exotoxins have eroded most of the hairs in the bronchi that normally sweep the mucus up and around, like a non-stop river to keep the surfaces moist. 

  • The earlier in the illness you start using the ascorbate, the fewer bronchial hairs will be lost. Once bronchial hairs are lost, the cough sounds dry, and that's because the mucus membranes aren't being kept as regularly moist as normal. Most children do not pool mucus, so long as they continually bring it up. 

  • Healthy babies, toddlers, and older children with whooping cough look quite normal between the tell-tale coughing spells. 

  • The cough in most children will decrease to at least a quarter the intensity it was, after proper doses of ascorbate are given. 

  • But you still have to know how to manage the quantity of mucus that even well managed whooping cough produces, especially in babies. 



  • However, because the mucus moves up quickly, you may get the odd “vomit” session, particularly if the child has just eaten food, or swallowed the mucus instead of coughing it out. Vomiting, in my observation, seems to be a result of swallowed toxin-containing mucus in the stomach. 


Continue with the ascorbate

  • You have to continue the ascorbate for the whole time the bacteria continue to make toxin, which can be up to three months. 

  • Ascorbate will help neutralize the Pertussis toxins while the body is mounting a proper immune response, which takes weeks. 

  • Ascorbate does not prevent or stop the disease. It helps clear away the toxins, and makes the coughing much, much milder, increases the ability of the body to clear out the bacteria and develop immunity naturally, and vastly reduces complications. 


Care of the Caretaker

The caretaker (as well as the patient) must be kept well hydrated with plain water and taking ascorbate. If a mother of a breastfed baby has whooping cough, she must take ascorbate throughout the day and night to efficiently neutralize the toxin in her own body. 


Babies & Whooping Cough

  • When a baby with whooping cough runs low on vitamin C, the mother may notice that the child's gums may go red around the edges—a first sign of scurvy.

  • NEVER DOSE A SLEEPING BABY OR CHILD. They can breathe in the ascorbate which can lead to big problems. If you think a dose is needed, wake the baby up. 

  • Treating very young infants usually requires assistance from a medical practitioner and very close monitoring

  • The baby often needs rocking and holding all day and night during the peak days. 


Managing the cough in young babies:

  • The baby's relative inability to use the stomach muscles to cough properly and their narrow bronchi put them at a physical disadvantage compared with older children. 

  • If that mucus is not shifted, then secondary bacterial infections can set in, which can cause new problems. I have yet to deal with a secondary infection in all the hundreds of cases we’ve personally dealt with. 

  • With any cough, particularly whooping cough, turn the baby around, with its back to your abdomen. While sitting down, split your legs, so the baby is supported around the abdomen but the legs are straight down between your thighs. Your hands make a gentle net around the baby’s rib cage and abdomen, and when the baby coughs, you lean forward slightly to angle the baby, allowing the baby to have something for the abdominal muscles to push against as it coughs. You give the baby some pressure to use, but do not press in yourself.

  • They haven't learned to control their muscles to get an efficient cough yet, so your hands give them a wall to push against, and make it much easier for them. You may get a clear mucous glob ejected onto your floor. Better out than in. Don't attempt to catch it, or you may drop the baby. 

  • Some parents like to put the baby on the shoulder and bounce and rock. Some dads put them on the forearm. You have to find the position that works best for you and the baby. These are all just suggestions. 

  • If your child’s cough is whooping cough, it may last the normal time—supposedly 100 days, but the cough will be a nuisance only after the 5-7 day peak period. 

  • If you are breastfeeding, you may notice that each time you feed, this could provoke a cough, usually during a brisk “let-down”. 

  • Deal with the cough first — let the milk spray if need be. 

  • Get the mucus up from the baby’s stomach, then put the baby back on the breast straight away. 

  • If you do it that way, there should be no cough because the mucus has gone, and baby will take the full feed. 

  • It is best to get that toxic mucus out of the baby BEFORE the full feed.

  • This could require you putting the baby to the breast and taking them off after a 30 seconds to a minute, letting them vomit, and then restarting. 

  • It depends on whether they are vomiting or not. The aim is to get the vomit up before the full feed. 

  • The same process applies to formula fed babies. 

  • Babies with whooping cough sleep lightly. 


Breast fed babies - how to administer Vitamin C

  • If breastfeeding, take Vitamin C yourself and give it to your child(ren) until the coughing stops. 

  • It is better to give Vitamin C directly to babies, rather than trying to guess how much is coming through breast milk. Even if you take high doses, you will not get the dose you need to into the baby. 

  • Breastfeeding moms can express some breast milk into a cup, and put a pinch of sodium ascorbate powder into it, and mix it. Then, using a plastic eyedropper, dribble this into the baby’s mouth gradually over a few minutes for each dose. Don't squirt it in - just drip it in, bit by bit. 


Formula fed babies - how to administer Vitamin C

  • Powdered sodium ascorbate is necessary for any infant drinking formula and anyone who is not exclusively breastfed.

  • If your baby is formula fed, that baby will require more ascorbate than a breastfed baby

  • It should be dosed in the formula over the day. 


Liposomal Ascorbate - how to administer to infants

  • Liposomal ascorbate is the same chemical but embedded into a fatty layer that does not require the transporters in the bowel for absorption. Therefore, it gets into the body differently and probably faster, using less of the body’s energy to bring it in. 

  • It is really easy to dose infants because all you have to do is take your clean finger with a dab on it and swipe it inside the cheek. 

  • Babies don’t love the taste but they tolerate it fine. 

  • Infants as young as two weeks of age have been taking it with good effect. 

  • Two week old infants usually require a whole 1000 mg sachet per day given in tiny dabs every 15-20 minutes and can require up to two sachets per day at the peak of the cough. 


Liposomal Ascorbate and older children

  • For older children and adults, liposomal ascorbate taken just before bedtime reduces coughing at night, and can be used at the beginning of the cough, in order to boost the blood levels quickly. It can also be taken in a bolus after a severe cough. 

  • In one child who had mild underlying kidney issues, there was some swelling with high dose sodium ascorbate. If that is an issue, ascorbic acid can be used with sodium ascorbate to cut down on the sodium. You may need professional help if swelling becomes an issue. It is very rare. 


Recommended Dosages

Please also read our article ‘Vitamin C: Notes, types and dosages


  • Doses of between 200mg and 375mg per kg of body weight. 

  • But at the peak of coughing, the dose needed in toddlers and older children can be as high as 1000 mg/kg/day.

  • If they are coughing until purple, or gasping, then your doses are much too small or infrequent. Bump them right up to the level of 375 milligrams per kilo of body weight over the waking hours, as a starting dose and know that you may still need much more. 

  • Keep a chart on the fridge so that you can see what you have done, and also write down anything that tells you that you have reached bowel intolerance, or any fact you feel is relevant and might need checking later. 

  • If the patient consumes more than you calculate before the 24 hours, and there was no bowel intolerance, it was obviously needed. Do not worry. If the child needs higher doses, just give them. 

  • Most parents are concerned about giving too much and can be reluctant to dose high enough. Just make sure they are staying hydrated and the diapers are as wet or wetter than normal. 

  •  A pinch of ascorbate is about 250 mg. If you want to be more exact about dosing, calculate the amount you estimate will be needed in 24 hours, put the powder in a little container and just use pinches in expressed breast milk through the day and night. 

  • For older children with higher doses, calculate the daily dose and give it hourly or as often as needed in divided quantities. 

  • If using liposomal ascorbate on infants, you will need to dose every 15 minutes to every hour. If there is a big cough, you will need to give a bigger finger swab into the cheek and increase the dose or frequency. 

  • Two to four week infants usually require 1-2 sachets of lipospheric ascorbate per 24 hours. Five to eight week babies usually require 1-3 packs. 


The Flush

  • Diarrhoea after a certain amount of PSA, is commonly called the bowel flush. 

  • My goal is a minimum of two loose bowel movements in infants, children, and adults.

  • Breastfed infants will often move bowels more often than twice, so those babies don’t need any push to make more stool. 

  • Anyone who is not having at least two loose (not watery) stools per day needs more PSA. 

  • If an older child or adult develops diarrhoea, you will probably notice the cough is better just after that flush. That is not a bad thing but you don’t want anyone having ongoing diarrhoea or becoming dehydrated. 

  • If a flush happens, then either cut back the PSA dose or give in smaller doses more frequently. 

  • If your child develops very loose bowels, then you may be giving too much. In this case cut back by 50% and monitor. 

  • Bowel intolerance will also tell you when it is time to taper. For instance, the cough will be less intense and the bowels will not tolerate as much ascorbate. Start slowly tapering. 

  • If the cough worsens then just go back up to a higher dose in order to control the cough. 

  • You may have to switch over to LSA if the diarrhoea is not stopping after one flush. 



  • If you stop the ascorbate too soon, you will quickly find that the cough becomes much stronger. 

  • Once kids know that it's the ascorbate that holds the cough intensity down, and parents stop it too soon, the kids will come back and plead for it. 

  • It needs to be used for several weeks, or else you will have a continuous relapsing and seeming recovery cycle. 

  • A properly-managed baby or child with whooping cough should not lose any weight at all when coughing and food intake is managed properly. Once in a while though there is a very small weight loss which will be rapidly regained plus more immediately after recovery. 


General Care of the Sick Child

  • Watch the child carefully throughout the day.

  • Under no circumstances use cough suppressants of any kind, or acetaminophen, fever reducers, or cold medicines. Parents have been conditioned to fear fever, but fever is the body’s innate mechanism to deal with disease. (Please read SAVE’s article on Fevers here)

  • However, know that whooping cough bacteria do not permeate into the blood and fevers are not usual in any phase of whooping cough. If the temperature is above normal, other infections should be considered. 

  • I have never seen a secondary infection in ascorbate-treated children, but in conventionally treated people this can happen, most probably as a result of subclinical scurvy, white blood cell under-function, and antibiotic use which can skew the microbiome. 

  • Let the child play at home but if they run or exert themselves, they will have a cough. Keep the child away from susceptible people, pregnant women, and siblings of very young babies until they are no longer contagious. 

  • Contagion in naturally treated children is between 3 and 6 weeks. 

  • If the cough is still roaring at 4 weeks, assume the child is still contagious, unless they’ve tested negative. 


The Post Recovery Period

  • If your child gets a cold within 6 - 9 months after having recovered from whooping cough, the child may start to “whoop,” or cough, the same way as when processing the B. pertussis. The reason for that is that it takes time for the lung hairs to grow back. 

  • Any infection without proper ciliary motion, will result in mucus pooling. 

  • Because there has been loss of the hairs in the bronchi, this mucus pooling is necessary to trigger a cough strong enough to get the mucus from the bottom of the bronchi up to the top. 

  • Do not use cough suppressants because you could end up with pneumonia. 

  • Some babies finish the cough and are transitioned onto regular food shortly thereafter. 

  • Note that this could cause a transient higher need for ascorbate.

The article above is a summary of Dr Humphries’ Sodium ascorbate treatment of whooping cough (This is the full article by Dr Humphries, which we highly suggest you read. It’s very detailed and some information not contained in the summary.)

Our article on Pertussis

Our article Vitamin C Notes, Types and Dosages