Coughs and Causes
Coughs presenting in the spring may convert into chronic cough for some people with low immunity. Coughs can be classified as acute, subacute, or chronic, depending on the duration of symptoms, if it lasts less than 3 weeks, 3 to 8 weeks or more than 8 weeks in a row.
Coughs have a variety of causes, including environmental and infectious causes. Postnasal drip and post-infectious coughs are the most common causes of subacute to chronic coughs. A persistent and excessive cough can cause many complications affecting different systems. These complications may include fainting from coughing, dizziness, headache, seizures, chest pain, incontinence of urine, social embarrassment, and decreased quality of life.
Post-Covid Chronic Cough
We have noticed many people are presenting with several minor to serious chronic health issues after COVID infections. These health complaints may vary from physical symptoms such as chronic cough, lethargy, dizziness or anxiety/ depression, insomnia etc.
As per our observation, the most common post covid effect is in the lungs. Obviously, the effects depend upon age and other underlying health issues but wrong diet-lifestyle habits can have a significant adverse effect on the lungs as well. Along with chronic severe cough which causes discomfort on the chest and sleeping difficulty, some people also experience breathing difficulties or chronic sinus issues.
Ayurvedic Management for Chronic Coughs
Ayurveda proposes unique principles for the management of diseases. Substances with opposite properties are often recommended to treat certain doshas. Where a chronic dry cough causes constant irritation and is associated with Vata, it is necessary to moisturize the mucous membrane of the throat to reduce dryness and reduce irritation and then allow the mucous membrane to heal on its own.
Treatment is long-term hydration.
For example, to increase saliva, a formulation consisting of salt granules that must remain in the mouth and gradually dissolve in saliva reduces the cough. Additionally, herbs like ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, etc are digestible and appetizing and increase the production of saliva, which helps to keep you hydrated. The method of timing the medication is called ‘muhur-muhur’ (often repeated method). This method allows constant contact of medicine and saliva with the inflamed mucosa. This leads to rapid healing of inflamed mucous membranes and rapid correction of dryness.
Common Ayurvedic herbal remedies for Cough
- Vyoshadi vatakam
- Thalisapatradi choornam
- Sitopaladi choornam
- Liquid tincture such as Adhatoda, Echinacea, Cinnamon, ginger, sage, Licorice, etc.
Studies have also shown that Tulsi or holy basil can help loosen mucus and improve cough symptoms caused by allergies, asthma, or lung disease. Because of the many benefits it provides, tulsi is known as “mother nature’s medicine” in Ayurveda, which is probably why it is grown in Hindu homes in India. Ginger is also a widely used herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Recent research has found that ginger contains several active compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce cough. Ginger powder can be eaten fresh or dried.
Honey is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for a wet cough. Honey has antibacterial properties that help clear coughs or phlegm. Honey seems sweet and mild and helps a lot in reducing phlegm and relieving chest tightness. This is one of the reasons why it is found in many alcohol-free cough syrups. Mulethi or licorice has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties and helps to thin the mucus in the respiratory tract and helps to relieve cough and congestion. Pippali is one of the best Ayurvedic remedies for a cough. Pippali is warm in nature and has expectorant properties, which help reduce phlegm and relieve congestion. It also relieves headaches and other cold-related problems.
Other Home Remedies for Cough
- Apart from taking the herbs mentioned above, there are other ways to treat coughs naturally at home. Some of them are:
- Steam: Swallowing steam can help clear mucus from the lungs. A commercially available steamer can be used, or water can be boiled on the stove to expel the steam.
- Saltwater mouthwash is a common home remedy to loosen mucus in the throat. Heat a cup of water and add ¼ teaspoon of salt. Rinse 3 times a day for best results.
- Pranayama is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for cough. This technique clears the airways and relieves nasal and chest congestion.
- Nasya is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for cough. This helps clear mucus from the nostrils.
- Avoid cold foods: curd, bananas, cold fruit juices and other cold foods. They should be avoided because they can make a cough worse.
If you have excessive cough, please seek Ayurvedic attention during your visit to our clinic. As I mentioned previously that a persistent and excessive cough can cause many complications affecting different systems. Thus, the outcome will impact one’s well-being. If you have a persistent cough, please consult our specialists to discuss the ayurvedic treatment options available.