Cough! Cough! 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 down into the back of the throat can stimulate coughing. Coughs from a lung infection, such as bronchitis, can start out 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 secondhand 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) also stimulate cough.
How Homeopathy Can Help
Homeopathically, coughs are dealt with in a two-step method. 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. Such a holistic approach using the constitutional and antimiasmatic homeopathic treatment balances the immune system. This healthy immune system is then ready to fight off the next invader efficiently without overreacting in non-threatening situations, which is what happens in allergies.
For acute homeopathic prescription, the cough’s characteristic symptoms are taken 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 a.m. and 4 a.m.
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 differentiate the remedies by 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 a large quantity of mucus. Cough that is worse between 6 and 7am.
Cor. R. – Deep-sounding, hoarse-barking cough that is worse after 12 a.m.; during or after measles; spasmodic with gagging, retching and vomiting
Cina – Dry cough with sneezing. Spasmodic cough worse in the morning. The child is afraid to speak or move as it brings on cough. Cough linked with eosinophillia due to worm infestation are indicative of Cina
Sambucus – Cough that is deep, dry and precedes the fever paroxysm.
Spongia – Dry cough worse by reading, 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 od rattling mucus can be heard on coughing.
Coughs brought on by sprays or droplets in the air that carry infection are easily passed to others and therefore must be treated as soon as possible.
For any queries related to the above topic please contact Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas directly via e-mail.