I always think of a cough as a symptom. To me it is the body’s way to removing material from the lungs and upper airway passages, or its way to react to an irritation. We roughly distinguish two main categories of coughs:
-The productive cough: mucus is coming down from the nose or the sinuses, or coming up from the lungs. It can be caused by a cold, an infection (pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, Tb), chronic lung disease, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), post nasal drip, and smoking.
-The non-productive also called dry cough: can develop at the end of a cold or when exposed to an irritant. Causes can be virus, allergies, irritants (dust, chemicals), asthma, inhaled object (like a pill that goes through the wrong pipe), or even certain medicines such as ACE inhibitors (anti-hypertension treatments).
But you and I know that it is rarely that clear-cut. Very often you have mixed symptoms, or the cough is productive during the day, and becomes dry and irritating at night, or it changes over time.
General recommendations and natural tips:
- Some coughs are due to an allergy. Try to identify the allergen and stay away from it as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of water to dilute the secretions and promote drainage. Warm broths are also very efficient as they hydrate and help loosen the mucus. This is especially indicated when there is post nasal drip. You can also do nasal irrigation.
- Prop yourself up. At night, lie on a couple of pillows. Keeping your head elevated may make breathing more comfortable.
- Avoid alcohol as it can increase the swelling of the mucous membranes.
There are several homeopathic cough syrups on the market and you can also choose among the following
SINGLE MEDICINES: if you want to treat a specific symptom with sublingual pellets instead of a syrup, there are many different options. I selected a few of the most commonly used medicines for cough:
- For a wet productive cough, you can use those two homeopathic medicines to make the expectoration easier:
Ipecac 6C and Antimonium Tartaricum 6C: take 5 pellets of each every hour
- In order to relieve a dry cough take 5 pellets of each of the following medicines every hour
Drosera 30C, Spongia tosta 6C and Cuprum met 6C.