From a niggling throaty tickle to a full-blown chesty hack, coughs can range from just irritating to making us feel very unwell. Read about some useful homeopathic remedies for coughs.
What You Need to Know About Homeopathic Remedies for Coughs
What Makes Us Cough?
We can cough for a range of reasons. Here we are talking about the kinds of coughs that many of us can get from time to time. When we are unwell from a virus or bacteria and our bodies are trying to clear the mucus, or our lungs and throat are irritated from the infection and/or the coughing.
We can also have a coughing reaction to dust, smoke, mould, irritants or things we are allergic to.
When to See the Doctor for a Cough
Coughing can also be triggered by a range of medical conditions. Examples include underlying respiratory conditions, acid reflux, and sleep apnoea.
It is also possible for some drugs to cause coughing. Drugs called ACE Inhibitors used to treat high blood pressure are well known for causing a dry tickly cough as one of their side effects. If you think this might apply to you, your GP may be able to review your medication.
If you have a cough that has persisted for longer than it should, over 3 weeks, that is a good reason to see your GP. If you are concerned about how you are feeling and have any unusual symptoms such as coughing up blood, chest pain, severe breathlessness, or unexplained weight loss, then contact your GP immediately so that they can help.
Is it a Cough or is it Croup?
Croup is a viral infection that affects babies and children. The cough sounds harsh, barking and raspy. It can be mild and pass in a couple of days. If it seems severe or more persistent, or you have any reason to be concerned then you can find out more on the NHS website page for Croup, ring 111 or contact your GP.
Finding the Right Homeopathic Remedies for Coughs
You may already know that the key with using homeopathic remedies for coughs or anything else, is to find the ones that most closely match your symptoms. This is because we work with the individual rather than the illness label. So, 10 people could all come to clinic with coughs and each may have a different remedy, one that suited them and their symptoms.
I really like finding homeopathic remedies for people with coughs because there is such a super range of remedies available. It is also a wonderful situation to help in because the effects can be so demonstrable.
Once I have the background information I need about the person – their overall health, when the cough started, I will then ask these key questions.
- Where are your coughing from (chest, lower throat, upper throat)?
- How does it feel (painful, wheezy, raspy)?
- What makes it better or worse?
- Is it productive (is there any mucus or discharge?) and if so, what is it like?
- Are there any other distinguishing or interesting symptoms?
Homeopathic Remedies for Coughs
We have so many wonderful homeopathic remedies for coughs to choose from, but these are some of my most used favourites.
- Aconite – this is a lovely remedy to use if it is the early stages in any ailment. Even if it is so early on that you are not sure you are poorly! Especially consider this if the symptoms start just after you have been out in the cold, if it was a cold wind, or if you have had a nasty shock or fright.
- Ant-Tart – I think of this if a cough is chesty and unproductive. Your chest may sound wheezy and you are not coughing up much mucus. You might feel chilly, tired and fed-up.
- Bryonia – this is one I think of if a chesty cough is dry and deep. It may hurt so much when you cough that you hold your sides to reduce any movement to try to reduce the pain of coughing.
- Drosera – another deep cough that is characterised by its barking hack. The coughs can come in spasms, sometimes until you retch or are sick. Often this cough will be at its worst at night, as soon as your head hits the pillow. And it is the kind of cough that will keep everyone awake!
- Ferrum-Phos – this can be helpful as a general support remedy throughout or after the worst of the symptoms have passed. I think of it as a tonic to help up pick up again.
- Hepar-Sulph – a very useful remedy to have to hand where there is an incredibly sore throat. Some people say it feels like a splintering and sharp pain. You will feel poorly, fed up, and sensitive to every little thing.
- Rumex – these coughs are characterised by being in the upper throat and being very tickly. Sensitive and set off by talking, laughing, even breathing, especially if there is a change in the air temperature. If you are drawing your scarf up over your mouth to protect your throat from the cold air when you go outside, this is one to think of.
- Spongia – this is the remedy I think of where the cough is half way between Rumex and Drosera! The cough is around the larynx and there is a dry, “sawing” sound to the cough. There may be a sensation of a swelling or plug in that part of the throat. Unlike Drosera, this could will be worse in the day and better for lying down.
It may be that you need different ones at different stages. You may start with Aconite, and if the cough develops, select the one that best fits your symptoms, Drosera for example. And if the coughing is so intense and your chest hurts when you cough, you may wish to alternate the Drosera with Bryonia. And as your symptoms ease, following through with Ferrum-Phos as a tonic.
If you need more background information on taking remedies in general, you can find this in my post how to take homeopathic remedies.
You can find more materia medica about homeopathic remedies for coughs and colds if you are interested to learn more.
Self-Help for Coughs
It is important to do all we can to look after ourselves if we have a cough. Keeping topped up on sleep, healthy food and fluid levels should all help.
Some people find adding in a herbal preparation or nutritional supplement can help them. When taking herbs, it is important to get professional advice if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any pharmaceutical medicines from your doctor or over-the-counter. Herbal and nutritional supplement use also varies according to age so do check their suitability if you are looking for a child.
- Vogel’s Echinacea – is a herbal remedy that supports the immune system. It can be useful to take it at intervals, but it is not advisable to take it continuously.
- Vogel’s Bronchoforce Chesty Cough Remedy – a herbal remedy containing Ivy, Thyme and Liquorice for chesty or mucus coughs.
- Potters Chest Mixture and Potters Cough Remover are two traditional herbal cough mixtures that have been around for as long as I can remember.
- Higher Nature’s Immune+ – this supplement combines a number of useful immune supporting nutrients including elderberries, vitamin C and zinc.
Using Homeopathic Remedies for Coughs
Many of us can have a cough or cold in a year, that is normal. You may also be interested in my post on homeopathic remedies for colds and flu. Hopefully, with lots of self-care and some well-chosen homeopathic remedies for coughs they pass quickly and we feel well again.
If you find that you are struggling with recurrent coughs, then it can be a good idea to look to support your overall health. We would look to find the homeopathic constitutional remedy, which we prescribe as an individually tailored tonic. As always, it is about getting well, and then staying well.
I hope you have found this post on homeopathic remedies for coughs to be helpful. If you would like to stay up to date with topical articles and practice news you can sign up to my Chantry Health Newsletter. My practice clinics are in West and East Sussex, and also via Skype. If you would like to book a free mini-appointment to see if my approach might suit you, please do contact me.