Coughing is the body's way of keeping the throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing, or coughing with other symptoms like phlegm, fever, or weight loss may mean that there is an underlying disease or disorder.
Acute coughs usually begin suddenly and are often due to a cold, flu, or sinus infection. The phlegm dripping from the sinus goes down into the back of the throat and can stimulate coughing. Coughs from a lung infection, such as bronchitis, can start suddenly, sound deeper, and linger for longer.
Other common causes of chronic cough include asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, from emphysema or chronic bronchitis), sinusitis, smoking cigarettes or exposure to second-hand smoke, pollutants, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Certain medications that are used for high blood pressure and heart disease called ACE inhibitors (e.g., benazapril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, quinapril, and ramipril) can also stimulate cough.
It is important to note that coughs brought on by droplets in the air that carry infection are easily passed to others and therefore must be treated as soon as possible.
How Homeopathy Can Help?
Homeopathy treats coughs in two steps. First, the cough itself is treated with the indicated homeopathic remedy. Once the cough has disappeared, homeopathic constitutional and antimiasmatic treatment is then given to heal the body holistically and prevent recurrence of the cough. Timely and accurate homeopathic treatment of coughs heals the body quickly and reduces the need for antibiotics. This holistic approach, using the constitutional and antimiasmatic homeopathic treatment, balances the immune system. A healthy immune system is then ready to efficiently fight off the next invaders without overreacting in non-threatening situations, which is what happens in allergies.
In considering a prescription for a cough, a naturopath will take the cough's characteristics and possible causes into consideration:
- Possible reasons for the onset of the cough, e.g., getting wet in the rain or suddenly cooling down after a good sweat.
- Times when the cough is better or worse, e.g., people requiring Pulsatilla have a worse cough early in the morning while those requiring Kali Carb have aggravations between 12 am and 4 am.
- Sound of the cough, e.g., Hepar Sulph for a barking cough, Merc Sol for a metallic sounding cough, and Antim Tart for a rattling cough. And, yes, homeopaths are trained to customise remedies based on the sound of the cough!
- Color of the phlegm, if there is any, e.g., Ars Alb or Kali Mur for white and transparent phlegm and Hepar Sulph or Kali Bich for yellow and green phlegm.
Other situations that can relieve or aggravate the cough are also considered.
Common Homeopathic Remedies for Cough
- Drosera – A good remedy for severe, paroxysmal cough. The bout is long lasting and may end in retching, vomiting, and a large quantity of mucus. Indicated for cough that is worse between 6 and 7 am.
- Cor. R. – Deep-sounding, hoarse-barking cough that is worse after 12 am or during or after measles; spasmodic with gagging, retching, and vomiting.
- Cina – Dry cough with sneezing, or spasmodic cough worse in the morning. The patient is afraid to speak or move as it brings on cough. Cough linked with eosinophillia due to worm infestation indicates use of Cina.
- Sambucus – Cough that is deep, dry, and precedes a fever paroxysm.
- Spongia – Dry cough made worse by reading aloud, singing, talking. Harsh breathing with cough.
- Hepar Sulph – Croup after exposure to dry cold winds. A deep barking cough. There is hoarseness of voice. The sound of rattling mucus can be heard on coughing.
For any queries related to coughs and their homeopathic treatment, please consult our homeopaths.