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In simple words cough is a reflex mechanism to expel any irritant from the trachea or wind pipe.


  • Coughing can be due to number of conditions like colds and flu to more serious conditions like chronic bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough.

Signs & Symptoms

Generally coughs are worse in the morning and one may find that he/she is bringing up some thick yellow or green phlegm. Sometimes a minor irritation may start the cough reflex even though there is not sufficient material to clear from the lungs. This is known as a dry cough.

While coughing, if blood comes out or severe pain in the chest occurs, one should consult a doctor at once.

Herbal Medicines

Since most coughs are 'good' for the lungs it is desirable to allow the cough to run its normal course. Do not suppress a productive (wet) cough. Let the phlegm be expelled out.

  1. Two gm of pure home made turmeric powder well mixed in a cup of warm milk, taken twice a day effectively checks the cough of bacterial origin. This should be continued for is days.
  2. 5ml of fresh tulsi juice well mixed in 10ml of pure honey, chewed twice a day, calms down cough in children and adults.
  3. In chronic coughs, crush 1 or 2 garlic cloves, add to a glass of milk, boil the milk till½ glass of milk remains, then filter it, add little bit of sugar if desired, and make it into two parts. Take one part in the morning and another in the evening. Do it for a week. There will be remarkable improvement. However, acidity patients should not use it, since it may aggravate the acidity.
  4. Similarly, onion juice can also be used. 5ml of fresh onion juice well mixed with 10ml of pure honey should be taken twice a day for 10 days.
  5. Steam inhalation of turmeric in water is very good for controlling cough.

Ayurvedic Remedies

  1. Sitopaladi Chooma, a classical Ayurvedic preparation available in the stores, is the common drug. 3 to 5 gm of this powder, well mixed in 5ml of pure honey, should be taken twice or thrice a day. It works well for adults as well as children.
  2. Lavangadi Vati - One tablet-thrice a day should be chewed. It controls throat irritation and cough rapidly. One can carry this while travelling. Other products are listed separately in the glossary.
  3. Talicadi Churna is also very useful in cough. The dose is 2.5 to 5gm twice daily with warm water.
  4. Kaph-ketu Ras is another good preparation taken in the dose of 1 to 2 pills thrice daily with warm water.
  5. Many cough syrups are available in the market which control cough. Of special mention are Diakof (Himalaya Drugs) and Herbodil (Dey's) which can be used by diabetic patients also.

One should avoid sour things like curd, lemon etc. and very cold water, soft drinks, and ice-creams. Meat should also be restricted.

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