Actually, coughing is not a disease; it is a symptom of any type of obstruction in the respiratory tract. The cough can originate in the pharynx, bronchi, trachea, and the lining of the pleura of the lungs.
In Ayurveda, the cough is known as Kaasa roga. It is predominantly an effect of the vice of the vata dosha. But pitta and kapha doshas can also cause coughing. According to the causal factor, there are five types of cough: vataja, pittaja, kaphaja, kshataja, and kshayaja.
Vataja’s cough is dry and cutting by nature. Little phlegm is observed. Secondary symptoms are headache and chest pain. In pittaja cough, there is yellow sputum that can sometimes have streaks of blood. Other symptoms such as fever, excessive thirst, and a burning sensation in the mouth and pharynx are also felt. In kaphaja cough, there is a thick mucous discharge, which is slimy and white in color. This cough makes the whole body feel heavy.
Kshataja cough is a vata vice to the extreme. There is dyspnea and blood in the sputum. Kshayaja cough is a very serious type of cough in which pus is seen in the sputum.
(1) Herbs useful in treating cough
Berry (Myrica nagi) The bay berry is very effective in curing throat congestions that cause coughing. It can even cure a cough caused by chronic bronchitis. Its bark is the effective part that must be taken in powder form.
– Belleric Myroblan (Terminalia belerica) The fruit of the belleric myroblan has excellent healing powers in the treatment of coughs caused by colds.
– Betel (Piper betle) Betel leaves when crushed, made into a paste with water and applied externally to the chest, have surprising effects in treating coughs.
– Butea (Butea monosperma) Butea leaves can treat a swollen and congested throat. They are effective in treating coughs and sore throats. The leaves are boiled in water. This solution is used as a mouthwash to achieve the desired effects. Coughs caused by sore throats and septics are treated this way.
– Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) Cloves can reduce throat irritation. Cloves are most effective if the cough is caused by inflammation of the pharynx.
– Euphorbia (Euphorbia hirta) Euphorbia is a very powerful medicine in the treatment of all types of coughs. It enjoys a special position in Indian herbology in the treatment of coughs caused by colds, asthma and bronchitis.
– Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) Fenugreek seeds are effective in eliminating the cough that is associated with a sore throat. The seeds are boiled in water for half an hour and this water is used for gargling.
– Garlic (Allium sativum) Garlic is an excellent remedy for whooping cough. The syrup of two or three pieces of garlic should be taken two or three times a day in the case of whooping cough. If symptoms still persist, or if it is a severe cough, then the dose should be increased.
– Henna (Lawsonia inermis) Henna is a definitive remedy for sore throats and cough-related problems.
(2) Diet Cough Treatments
– Cold foods should be avoided as they can further aggravate the throat. Normally drunk water should also be warmed up a bit before drinking.
– Use old rice in the diet. Wheat can also be used beneficially.
– Do not consume any fruits or vegetables that can cause excessive cooling of the body. Foods such as cucumbers, green bananas, papayas, watermelons, and oranges should be strictly avoided.
– Fennel seeds are effective in treating coughs. These should be taken in conjunction with figs for best results.
(3) Ayurvedic cough treatment
– Ayurvedic doctors prescribe slightly different types of medications depending on the type of cough that is observed. a) If the cough is of the vataja type, then kanakasava or kantakaryavaleha are prescribed. b) If the cough is of the pittaja type, then sitopaladi choorna is preferred along with chandansava or vasarishta. Vasavaleha and matulungadi avaleha may also be prescribed. b) If the cough is of the kaphaja type, then trikatu, triphala, guggulu and shilajit are the drugs of choice.
(4) Homemade medicines
– The pulp of the belleric myroblan fruit is mixed with long pepper, salt and honey. It should be taken once a day.
– Clove oil mixed with garlic and honey helps to eliminate spasmodic coughs that occur in tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. This mixture should be taken every night before going to bed.
– Prepare a ginger extract. Sweeten this with honey. Take this in a teaspoon amount three to four times a day. There will be confirmed positive results.
– Prepare a mixture of tulsi (holy basil) leaf extract with ginger and honey. This is better than the previous method for treating coughs. This mixture should be taken if the cough is severe, and it is caused by some serious ailment such as tuberculosis, bronchitis, etc.
– Make a decoction of licorice in honey. Consume this decoction so that it makes good contact with the inner lining of the throat. This will relieve a cough and a sore throat.
– A very simple way to stop a cough at night is to place three to four pieces of long pepper in the mouth. Chew them lightly so that their extract oozes into your mouth. As long as the peppers remain in your mouth, the urge to cough will be suppressed and you will get a good night’s sleep.
– Figs are known to remove phlegm build-up in the chest cavity. This causes the elimination of the cough.
– Make a cardamom powder and dissolve it in water. Take this three times a day. This will keep all types of coughs at bay.