Coughs can be caused by many things including irritants and allergens, viruses and bacteria.
Coughing is a reflex action as an attempt to expel foreign matter from the air passages. The commonest cause of a dry, tickly cough is inflammation in the throat due to a viral infection. Mucus can also be produced as a response to dust, bacterial infection and other irritants.
It is not always easy to find the right remedy to treat a cough and professional help may be required under some circumstances. If there are any signs of a fever, shortness of breath, in very young children, if the cough does clear up in a few days, or the person becomes generally unwell urgent medical treatment must be sought.
Seeking professional help for a cough usually isn’t necessary – most clear up on their own within a few weeks. A simple and soothing cough remedy suitable for adults and children can be made from a slice of fresh lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and a few drops of elderberry tincture added to hot water.
There’s little evidence to suggest that cough medicines will be any more effective.
A simple and soothing cough remedy suitable for adults and children can be made from a slice of fresh lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and a few drops of Elderberry tincture added to hot water.
Coltsfoot, Elderflower, Sage: Effective selection of expectorant herbs with a soothing and antibacterial action. Make an infusion and drink 3 times a day, or use the tinctures.
Coltsfoot should only be taken for 3-4 days at a time. Do not use coltsfoot or sage during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless prescribed by a qualified practitioner.
Aniseed: Add this for spasmodic or irritating coughs for its antispasmodic action.
Choose the remedy that best matches the symptoms.
Aconite 30: Sudden onset often after exposure to cold wind. Dry croupy cough with runny nose and sneezing. Cough with hoarseness/ dryness of throat. Try this remedy first in the first day or two of a cough developing. Three times a day for one or two days.
Ant Tart 30: Noisy, rattling, loose cough as if chest full of mucus. Often useful for young children or elderly with a chesty cough Cough is often worse at night. Three times a day for two or three days.
Bryonia 30: Dry hacking or barking cough. Spasmodic cough shaking the whole body. Pain in the head or chest from coughing. The patient holds the chest when coughing. Dryness of all air passages with thirst. Three times a day for two or three days.
Causticum 30: Cough with raw, hollow, sore feeling in chest.
Drosera 30: Spasmodic, dry irritating coughs like whooping cough. Barking cough which is dry in the evening and loose in the morning. Retching after spasmodic cough. Often useful to clear up a cough that is dragging on. Three times a day for two or three days.
Ipecacuanha 30: Almost always totally dry cough which comes in paroxysms causing choking, gagging or vomiting. Worse: at night and in the morning while lying in bed, warm room. Better: after expectoration and cold drinks. A good children’s cough remedy if the symptoms fit. Three times a day for two or three days.
Rumex 30: The main remedy for tickling irritated coughs. Incessant, violent, tickling cough with scant expectoration. Intense tickling in the larynx and trachea. Teasing cough preventing sleep. Cough is noticeably worse when going outside and from talking. Three times a day for two or three days.
Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Thyme Linalol: Inhale the vapours from a bowl of hot water into which two or three drops of each of the essential oils have been added, or dilute in a vegetable base oil to massage onto the chest area.
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