No matter what our age, coughs can be the bane of our lives. As parents we struggle with children waking us in the night. As seniors we find that they can takes ages to go away and can have embarrassing side effects like urine loss. Ex Smokers hack and wheeze as part of clearing out their lungs.
On this page I am including tons of great info on types and some sure-fire remedies for reducing the length and severity, using natural remedies and some old fashioned home cures.
Of course, modern pharmacies offer a vast array of expectorant and sedative medicines so why should we bother with natural remedies? Because the body has an incredible ability to heal itself, given a chance.
Try to always opt for the natural approach first, but if you can't.. then remember my AND ALSO rule!
Because coughs are so awful, many of my clients chose to use whatever cough syrup they could get from the pharmacy AND the remedy I had prescribed. Ever the practical optimist - and knowing that different medicines work on different levels - I never raised any objections.
FIRST RULE OF DEALING WITH COUGHS - BE PREPARED!
You need to have your small kit of homeopathics handy, and some honey, glycerin, lemon juice, and some natural lozenges. For suppliers click on the link below.
If you are attending a child in the night mix them up fresh - a spoon of honey, a dollop of glycerin and a squirt of lemon. Then quickly prepare a piece of bread and butter, a glass of cold water, a lump of ice or an icepop and a warm drink.
Take these with you to the nursery or give them a try if its you that is suffering. The idea is that you can try each of these items to see which one has the effect of calming the irritation. Eating food - either the bread or sucking the sweet often helps with the paroxysms. Some stop immediately with an ice cold drink or ice-pop. Some with a warm drink. Movement also can be helpful. Try getting the child up and moving around for a couple of minutes.
Now look at these cough descriptions.
If the cough occurs regularly, think about what its like. How does it sound? How does the person react.. is there pain? ie. does she hold her chest before or during a cough - to minimize the discomfort?
Beside each description I have written three suggestions for homeopathic remedies followed by the Naturopathic Suggestions. Read both sections.
Nutritional Tip: Drink plenty of home made chicken soup when you have a cough. Chicken protein contains cystine, an amino acid that can help to thin mucus and clear the lungs.
1. DRY BARKING or HACKING COUGH... this is a dry sound, like a dog barking, short and sharp. There is no phlegm at this stage.
Aconite - hoarse and dry, comes on suddenly, worse at night
Belladonna - tickling short and dry, shortness of breath, some fever, worse at night
Bryonia - hard sharp and painful, patients hold their chest, worse eating or drinking or entering a warm room
Causticum- dry and hard, cold water helps to settle it, passes urine at the same time.
Vitamin C increase dosage to 1000 per day, the soluble variety is quickly absorbed. Eat plenty of anti-oxidant rich foods such as blueberries, strawberries and red capsicums.
Two thumb acupressure treatment: Find the bump in the spine where the neck and shoulders meet. Apply pressure to points directly on either side of the bump, with the amount of time dependent on the severity of the cough. This can be repeated throughout the day.
Place a few drops of Oil of Frankincense on a hanky or tissue and breathe it in every hour or so, as needed.
Wild Cherry Bark syrup can be a great help with persistent symptoms.
2. CROUPY or WHOOPING COUGH...this is a hoarse sound, almost a ringing noise, like a saw going through wood or the noise that a seal makes.
Spongia - dryness and hoarseness, throat sensitive to touch, plug like feeling. Bronchial wheezing. Better from eating and drinking, especially warm drinks.
Hepar Sulph - croupy, loose and rattly, suffocative attacks. Sensitive and irritable. Worse from cold wind and coldness. Better from warmth and after eating.
Drosera - Spasmodic paroxysms, deep and hoarse, sensation of a tickle in the throat, comes on only at night
Onion and honey syrup: chop an onion finely, put into a thick based saucepan, cover with honey and warm the mixture on a low heat for 40 minutes. Take as needed, one spoonful at a time. This lovely soothing warm mixture increases blood flow to the chest.
Onion poultice:Slice a few onions and cook in a little water until soft. Place a warmed tea towel on the chest, spoon the onion onto it and cover , leave for twenty minutes. Sounds very medieval but can really sooth and encourage the healing process.
Humidify the air and add a few drops of eucalyptus, or a bowl of hot water plus a few drops of the essential oil and a towel over the head. Grandmothers method of clearing out those sinuses still works wonders.
3. EXPLOSIVE COUGH. noisy and spasmodic, comes on suddenly and seems to explode out of the mouth - sometimes food or spit will come out with the force of the paroxysm.
Ipecac - violent, lots of phlegm, whooping, nosebleeds, cough causes vomiting
Rumex - spasmodic , phlegm is tough and stringy, violent tickle in the throat causes paroxysms
Make a herbal tea infusion with some fresh or dried OREGANO. Sip up to three cups a day, to help sooth the throat.
4. GAGGING OR CHOKING COUGH. This is where there is a lot of mucus produced, which could be coughed out OR cause there to be vomiting or retching at the end of the cough
Coccus cacti - Tickly, lots of tough phlegm, whooping, chronic bronchitis
Kali Bich - Sneezing, hoarseness, tickly cough with profuse yellowish thick stringy mucus. Can sound brassy
Hoarehound lozenges and or 10 - 15 drops of the tincture in hot wate.
5. A RATTLING COUGH A rattle can be heard as the person breathes, so it is a wet cough but the mucus is staying in the chest rather than being brought up. These noises are referred to as rales or crepitations
Ant Tart - Noisy, rattly wheezy. Lots of mucus that's difficult to get up.
Kali Sulph - Rattly, worse in the evening and a hot room. Bronchial asthma with yellow mucus.
Nat Sulph - Asthma in children. Breathless in damp weather. Rattling in the chest 4 - 5 am. Holds chest when coughing.
Use a dehumidifyer and keep the atmosphere warm and dry. Warmth applied to the chest area. Gentle movement often helps.
There are more coughs tips for seniors. Click on the seniors link and look for emphasema, bronchitis and pneumonia.