Cough is a common respiratory symptom characterized by the forceful expulsion of air from the lungs. Cough serves as a protective reflex to clear the airways of irritants, mucus, or foreign particles. In this article, you will learn about the different types of cough, causative factors, pathophysiology, and how homeopathy can effectively manage cough symptoms. Homeopathic treatment is highly effective in most cases of cough. These medicines can naturally bring complete recovery by working on the root cause of the cough.
The symptoms of cough like wheezing, expectoration, difficulty in breathing, and shortness of breath can be efficiently managed with homeopathic medicines. Try homeopathy for cough to get rid of the annoying and persistent clearing of throat or shortness of breath.
Role of homeopathy in Cough
Cough is an involuntary reflex action that occurs due to stimulation of the cough receptors in the respiratory tract. It serves as a defense mechanism to protect the lungs and airways from irritants or obstruction. Homeopathic medicines for cough can help relieve the severity of cough and the intensity of viscous sputum production.
Homeopathy offers a holistic approach in managing cough symptoms by addressing the underlying cause and promoting self-healing. Homeopathy works so efficiently in acute and chronic cases of a cough. Various kinds of Cough: dry cough, loose cough, spasmodic cough, paroxysmal cough, and night cough, can be efficiently managed with homeopathy. The cases in which a cough is a result of diseases like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia can be treated so remarkably with homeopathy.
Top eight homeopathic medicines for cough
Homeopathic medicines focus on individualizing treatment based on symptom similarity. From the numerous homeopathic remedies for cough, prescribed based on the patient’s symptoms a few remedies that rank on the top are Drosera, Bryonia, Spongia tosta, Rumex crispus, Pulsatilla, Phosphorus, Ipecacuanha, Antimonium tartaricum.
The indications and keynote features of these remedies are as below:
Common name: Sundew
Drosera is the best homeopathic medicine indicated for a dry, spasmodic cough with a tickling sensation in the throat or chest. The cough is often triggered by talking or cold air. There may be a hoarse or rough voice accompanying the cough. Drosera is especially helpful when the cough worsens at night and is accompanied by a suffocating feeling. This remedy is important in the treatment of the cough variant asthma.
Common name: Wild Hop
Bryonia is an efficient homeopathic medicine in dry, painful cough that worsens with movement or deep breathing. The chest feels sore and bruised, and the coughing can cause headaches. The person may prefer to stay still and may be irritable. The cough is accompanied by thirst and dryness of the mouth.
Common name: Roasted Sea Sponge
Spongia tosta is effective for a dry cough with a barking or sawing sound. The cough is loud and dry, similar to a seal’s bark. It may be worse at night and accompanied by difficulty breathing or a sensation of suffocation. Warm drinks may provide some relief.
Common name: Yellow Dock
Rumex crispus is for a dry, irritating cough triggered by cold air or talking. The person experiences a constant tickling sensation in the throat, leading to bouts of dry coughing. The cough may feel as if originating from a spot deep in the chest.
Common name: Windflower
Pulsatilla is the best homeopathic medicine for a loose cough with yellowish-green expectoration that worsens at night. The person feels chilly and craves fresh air. The cough may change frequently in character, from loose to dry and back again. It tends to be more prominent in warm rooms.
Common name: Phosphorus
Phosphorus is an effective homeopathic remedy for a dry, tickling cough with hoarseness and difficulty breathing. The person may experience tightness in the chest and feel sensitive to cold air or temperature changes. The cough may be triggered by talking, laughing, or lying on the left side.
Common name: Golden root
Ipecacuanha is for a persistent, spasmodic cough accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The person may have difficulty catching their breath due to intense coughing fits. The cough produces a lot of mucus that is difficult to expel.
Common name: Tartar Emetic
Antimonium tartaricum is effective for a rattling, loose cough with excessive mucus. The person experiences difficulty expelling the mucus from the chest, resulting in a rattling sound during coughing. Antim tart. is a well indicated homeopathic medicine for cough associated with pneumonia.
Types of Cough
Coughs can also be classified into acute, subacute, and chronic based on their duration.
- Acute – cough that lasts for less than three weeks
- Subacute – cough that lasts for three to eight weeks
- Chronic – cough that lasts for longer than eight weeks
Further classified as dry, productive and nonproductive based on presence of mucous secretions.
- Dry Cough – This type of cough does not produce mucus or phlegm.1
- Productive Cough – This type is characterized by the presence of mucus or phlegm during coughing.
- Nonproductive Cough – This cough does not produce any mucus or phlegm, often associated with irritation.3
Causative factors for cough
Several factors can trigger a cough:
- Respiratory Infections – Viral or bacterial infections like common cold, flu, pneumonia, or bronchitis.
- Allergies – Allergic reactions to pollen, dust mites, pet dander, etc., can lead to persistent coughing.
- Environmental Irritants – Exposure to smoke, pollution, strong odors, or chemicals can cause cough symptoms.
- Post Nasal Drip4 – Excessive mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose can trigger a persistent cough.
- Asthma – Airways inflammation and narrowing can lead to chronic coughing.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)9 – Acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus can result in a chronic cough.
Pathophysiology of Cough
When your body detects an irritant in the respiratory tract, it stimulates the cough receptors present in the airways. This triggers a series of events, including the contraction of respiratory muscles, closure of the glottis, and forceful expulsion of air to clear the irritant.3
Symptoms of Cough
Common symptoms of a cough include:
- Persistent coughing
- Sore throat or irritation in the throat
- Hoarseness or loss of voice
- Chest discomfort or tightness
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Coughing up phlegm or mucus
- Wheezing or whistling sound while breathing
- Fatigue or weakness
- Runny or stuffy nose (in some cases)
- Fever (due to an underlying infection)
Treatment for Cough
The treatment for cough varies according to the underlying cause. Common treatments include resting, staying hydrated, using over-the-counter cough suppressants or expectorants, and addressing the underlying condition if necessary (such as allergies, respiratory infections, or acid reflux).1 It is always better to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and specific treatment plan. Try homeopathic medicines for cough as they help in permanent cure.
Dietary advice during cough
During a bout of cough, follow a few dietary advice and take precautions to aid recovery and prevent further irritation.
- Stay hydrated
Drink fluids like water, warm herbal teas, and clear broths to keep the respiratory passages moist and help loosen mucus.
- Avoid irritants
Limit or avoid exposure to smoke, pollutants, strong fragrances, and other irritants that can aggravate the cough.
- Warm liquids
Drink warm liquids like herbal teas with honey or lemon to soothe the throat and get relief.
- Avoid cold food and drink
Cold foods and beverages can trigger coughing or worsen throat irritation. Prefer warm or food at normal temperature instead.
- Steam inhalation
Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water or using a humidifier can help soothe the airways and alleviate coughing.
- Rest and sleep
Getting adequate rest and sleep allows your body to heal and recover from the cough.
- Maintain good hygiene
Wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid close contact with others to prevent the spread of infection.
It is important to note that these dietary advice and precautions are general recommendations. If the symptoms still persist or worsen, it is good to consult a physician for proper guidance.
Homeopathy offers an individualized approach in treating cough symptoms by considering the unique characteristics and underlying causes. The commonly used homeopathic medicines mentioned above provide relief from different types of cough. It is essential to consult a qualified homeopathic practitioner for accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription. For safe and effective treatment, discussing with a qualified homeopathic doctor before taking any medicine is always advisable.
- Sharma S, Hashmi MF, Alhajjaj MS. Cough. StatPearls Publishing; 2023.
- American Lung Association. Learn about cough [Internet]. Lung.org. [cited 2023 Aug 17]. Available from: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/warning-signs-of-lung-disease/cough/learn-about-cough
- Srigiri CGS. Utilizing Lee&Clark’s Repertory of Cough & Expectoration in management of Respiratory complications of Covid-19. International Journal of AYUSH [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Aug 17];10(01):57–67. Available from: http://internationaljournal.org.in/journal/index.php/ijayush/article/view/380
- Zanasi A, Mazzolini M, Tursi F, Morselli-Labate AM, Paccapelo A, Lecchi M. Homeopathic medicine for acute cough in upper respiratory tract infections and acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pulm Pharmacol Ther [Internet]. 2014;27(1):102–8. Available from:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1094553913001259
- Zanasi A, Mazzolini M, Tursi F, Morselli-Labate AM, Paccapelo A, Lecchi M. Homeopathic medicine for acute cough in upper respiratory tract infections and acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pulm Pharmacol Ther [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Aug 21];27(1):102–8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23714686/
- Arruda-Silva, F., Bellavite, P., & Marzotto, M. (2021). Low-dose Drosera rotundifolia induces gene expression changes in 16HBE human bronchial epithelial cells. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81843-y