Coughing is a natural reflex that serves to remove mucus, irritants and pathogens. It is a convulsive form of expiration that is also used by the body to spit out a foreign body or food that has passed into the trachea. However, since it results in projections of saliva droplets, coughing is also a factor of contagion.
There are four main types of cough including dry cough, chronic cough, wet cough and drug-induced cough. Also called acute cough, dry cough is short-lived and does not bring about the evacuation of mucus. However, given that it may be spasmodic, this condition increases the extent of lesions to the throat. A dry cough is different from a chronic cough. The latter can last for more than 8 weeks and is often accompanied by wheezing, sputum and / or dyspnea at the slightest sign of exertion. Even when one is not exposed to the cold, this condition can be frequent and repetitive. As for chronic cough, it mostly affects smokers. Wet cough is either acute or chronic and helps clear the airways. It is also characterized by expectoration. Finally, drug-induced cough results from the use of a medication.
If the cough occurs after exposition to a cold draft, or if it is accompanied by burning sensations in the throat and is very noisy, it is advisable to take 3 granules of Spongia tosta 5 CH three to five times a day. But if it worsens when the patient breathes cool air and seems to be caused by an itchy sensation in the suprasternal notch, take 3 granules of Rumex crispus 5 CH, five to six times a day until the symptoms disappear. In case the cough is caused by a progressive feverish state and chest pain around the sternum, it is advisable to take 5 granules of Bryonia alba 5 CH every two hours, spacing out the intakes depending on the patient’s improving state of health.
In addition, to treat laryngitis-related cough that results in severe inflammation of the nasopharynx, suck on 4 granules of Arum triphyllum 5 CH three times a day. To relieve persistent and irritating coughs that dry up the nasal mucosa, let 3 granules of Sticta pulmonaria 5 CH melt under the tongue 5 times a day until the symptoms subside. Finally, in order to get rid of dry coughs that result in the total obstruction of the nasal passages and / or suffocating coughs that suddenly occur, take 3 granules of Sambuscus nigra 5 CH four times a day.
In case of chronic spasmodic coughing and dyspnea caused by sclerosis or pulmonary emphysema, let 5 granules of Ipecac dissolve under the tongue. Furthermore, nausea, vomiting, bloating and fatigue are among the many ailments that may occur during pregnancy and that create some frustration among pregnant women. Cramps may be relieved by taking 3 daily intakes of Cuprum arsenicosum 7 CH until the patient’s state of health improves. But, in case of dry chronic cough, it is indicated to take a dose of China 9 CH, another dose of China 12 CH and, at last, a dose of China 15 CH, all of which should be taken on an empty stomach during three consecutive days. Furthermore, in order to alleviate a suffocating cough, take 3 granules of Cuprum metallicum 5 CH four times a day until the symptoms subside.
If the wet cough is of asthmatic origin, administer 5 granules of Blatta orientalis 9 CH to the patient three times a day if he or she is older than three – and 3 granules of Blatta orientalis 9 CH if the patient is younger than three. In all cases, the remedy should be administered until the patient’s health status improves. In the case the cough is accompanied by significant expectoration of mucus and seems to be the cause of bad breath, it is recommended to take 5 granules of Mercurius solubilis 7 CH three times a day.
Furthermore, if the cough worsens in the open air and if the patient is prone to nausea and / or is subject to great expectorating difficulties, give him or her 5 granules of Ipecac 5 CH every quarter of an hour until expectoration occurs. Finally, in case of spasmodic wet coughs, the patient may alleviate them by resorting to 3 or 4 granules of Drosera 5 CH per day, or six daily 3-granule intakes of Cocus cacti 5 CH.
If the cough persists for several days, it is best to consult a doctor. The same applies in case of blood-tainted mucus or if its colour is unusual. Moreover, it is also recommended to seek medical attention if the cough lasts for two months, frequently occurs at night and / or day and / or results in high fever, weight loss or headaches.
Good to know: Homoeopathic remedies used to relieve coughing are also effective against spasms when used in high dilutions and against sputum when used in low dilutions.