Cough is an important spontaneous reflex of the body that protects the airway and lungs against irritants. Cough can be either dry or chesty. A dry cough is tickly and does not produce mucus (phlegm), while a chesty cough produces mucus to clear the airway. While an occasional cough is considered normal, persistent cough associated with other symptoms like acid reflux, breathlessness, increased mucus formation or chest pain could indicate an ongoing disease and requires medical attention.
Homeopathic medicines effectively reduce the duration of cough and improve overall health. The primary group of homeopathic medicines that are used to treat cough include bryonia for dry and painful cough, phosphorus for hoarseness and tickly cough, pulsatilla in cases of wet cough with thick phlegm and rumex crispus for dry cough triggered by breathing cold air. Apart from these, remedies like aconitum napellus, antimonium tartaricum, belladonna, chamomilla, drosera, ferrum phosphoricum, hepar sulphuris calcareum, kali sulphuricum, spongia tosta, sulphur, ipecac and nux vomica are also used to treat cough.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for cough
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a patient with cough as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for cough
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for cough
  5. Takeaway
  6. Doctors for Homeopathic medicine and treatment for Cough in Hindi
  • Aconitum Napellus
    Common Name:
    Monkshood
    Symptoms: Monkshood is best indicated for inflammatory fevers and any other form of acute and sudden infection. It is also used to treat numbness, tingling and conditions caused by exposure to cold and dry weather. Aconite is used to treat conditions that only cause a functional disturbance but have no clear periodicity. This remedy is also indicated in those experiencing the following symptoms:
    • Dry mucous membranes (inner lining of body cavities and organs) of nose and mouth with a swollen tongue
    • Breathing difficulty with dry cough that worsens at night
    • Tingling in chest after cough
    • Unpleasant dreams

Symptoms worsen at night, while sitting in a warm room and on lying on the affected side. Symptoms improve in open air

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Belladonna primarily acts on the nervous system; however it also acts effectively on the skin, glands and vascular system. It is used to treat symptoms such as red skin with flushed face, delirium, restlessness and dryness of mouth and throat. Other symptoms responding to this remedy are:

Symptoms worsen after the noon, on lying down, by touch and noise, but reduce when the person is sitting in a semi-erect position.

  • Bryonia Alba
    Common Name:
    Wild hops (bryonia)
    Symptoms: It acts on the serous membranes (lines body cavities that don't open up on the outside like lungs) and the organs they contain. The characteristic symptom for this remedy is a stitching and tearing type of pain, which worsens on movement and gets better on rest. Bryonia Alba works well in people who are highly irritable, have dry lips and mouth, increased thirst, large stools, a feeling of stones in the stomach and painful joints. They also suffer from the following symptoms:
    • Nosebleeds
    • Pain in the area around liver, which aggravates on coughing and applying pressure
    • Sore trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box)
    • Dry cough, mostly at night, which is worse after eating or drinking
    • Hoarseness that worsens in open air
    • Cough with a feeling as if the chest would fly off; the person holds his/her breastbone to get relief
    • Cough with brick-red jelly-like mucus
    • Fever and chills with dry cough, internal heat and increased perspiration

Symptoms worsen in the morning, with exertion, and after meals. Symptoms improve on lying on the painful side, on resting and on applying pressure on the affected area.

  • Chamomilla
    Common Name:
    German chamomile
    Symptoms: German chamomile is mainly used to treat emotional and mental symptoms. It is prescribed to impatient people who are always complaining about things and irritable and restless children who have colic. This remedy is contraindicated in those with constipation. Chamomilla treats the following symptoms:
    • Throbbing headache on one side of the brain
    • Earache and toothache that worsens after having warm coffee
    • One cheek red hot and the other pale and cold
    • Dry and tickling cough along with dryness of larynx
    • Chest tightness
    • Rattling in chest

All the complaints worsen at night, with warmth, when the person is angry, or out in open air. The person feels relief in warm wet weather.

  • Causticum 
    Common Name:
    Hahnemann’s tinctura acris sine kali
    Symptoms: Causticum works well in those who have severe hopelessness along with a feeling of sadness. These patients exhibit the following symptoms:
    • Inflammation of nasal mucous membrane (coryza), especially caused by a cold 
    • Hoarseness of voice with chest pain and difficulty in speaking
    • Cough with scanty expectoration that has to be swallowed
    • Cough with pain in the left hip that worsens in the evening and with warmth of bed, but gets better with drinking cold water
    • Difficulty in lying down at night
    • Echoing of own voice

Symptoms aggravate in cold and dry weather and improve with warmth, and in damp and wet weather.

  • Coralium Rubrum
    Common Name:
    Red coral (coralium)
    Symptoms: This remedy is effective in spasmodic and whooping coughs. It is especially given to those who get sudden bouts of rapid cough. They also experience other symptoms like:
    • Excessive mucus secretion that drops through the back of the nose into the throat 
    • Extreme sensitivity of throat to air
    • Cold feeling on inhaling deeply
    • Exhaustion and suffocation after whooping cough

Symptoms worsen on moving to a cold room from a warm one and from open air.

  • Drosera Rotundifolia
    Common Name:
    Sundew (drosera)
    Symptoms: Sundew is considered as the main remedy for whooping cough as it acts effectively on respiratory organs. This remedy helps in building resistance to tuberculosis; hence, it is widely used in treating pulmonary tuberculosis and laryngeal tuberculosis. It is also used to treat profuse expectoration and is given to patients who throw up food on coughing. This remedy is also effective against the following symptoms:
    • Irritating and dry cough like whooping cough
    • Choking and difficulty in breathing
    • Hoarse cough, which worsens after midnight
    • Nosebleeds along with bleeding from mouth 
    • Asthma, mainly while talking
    • Vertigo on going out in open air; the person feels that he would fall on one side (usually left) 
    • A feeling of coldness in the left side of face, while the right half is dry hot

Symptoms become aggravated on lying down, drinking, singing or laughing, and particularly after midnight.

  • Pulsatilla Pratensis
    Common Name:
    Wind flower (pulsatilla)
    Symptoms: It is mainly a female remedy. The mental state and disposition of the person are the guiding symptoms for the selection of this medicine. Patients who benefit from this remedy are highly emotional, cry easily and are easily discouraged. They are always comfortable in the open air despite feeling chilly and normally lie with their head high and hands above their head. Pulsatilla Pratensis is used to alleviate the following symptoms:
    • Thick, yellowish-green, bland discharge from eyes along with inflammation of eyelids
    • Dry mouth, though the person does not feel thirsty
    • Cracked lower-middle lip; the person often licks their lower lip 
    • Flatulence, lack of thirst and stomach pain an hour after eating
    • Bitter taste in mouth and everything feels tasteless
    • Dry cough, mainly in the evening and at night, and loose cough in the morning
    • The spit of the person is bland, copious, greenish, thick and bitter 

Symptoms worsen in the evening, after eating fatty foods and in a warm room. Complaints get better by moving about in open air, and with cold applications.

  • Rumex Crispus
    Common Name:
    Yellow duck
    Symptoms: Rumex Crispus is used to manage a variety of pains. It is also used to treat tickling cough in the throat pit, which aggravates on touching the throat. Rumex is known to reduce the secretion of fluids from the mucous membranes in the body, while simultaneously increasing the sensibility of the mucous membranes of larynx and trachea. Those who benefit from this remedy experience other symptoms like:
    • Enlargement of lymph nodes
    • Soreness of tongue
    • Flatulence, gastritis
    • Shooting pain in the chest
    • Dry nose 
    • Excessive discharge of mucus (a slimy fluid secreted by the mucous membrane) from nose and trachea
    • Dry irritating cough that worsens at night, on talking, and inhaling; the person finds it difficult to sleep 

Symptoms are worse in the left chest, they are aggravated in the evening, and on inhaling cold air.

  • Spongia Tosta 
    Common Name: Roasted sponge
    Symptoms: Spongia Tosta is the remedy of choice in infections of upper respiratory tract, for cough and for heart infections. It is widely indicated in tubercular infection. Patients who benefit from this remedy experience the following symptoms:
    • Anxiety with breathing difficulty
    • Rush of blood to chest and face with slight exhaustion
    • Coryza
    • Sore throat that worsens on eating sweets
    • Tickling in the throat that causes cough
    • Dryness of the airways that leads to dry, barking cough and hoarseness
    • Swelling of the larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes (croup), which worsens on inhaling and at midnight
    • Cough that reduces on eating or drinking warm fluids
    • Excessive bronchial discharge, which results in wheezing and asthmatic cough along with profuse expectoration

Symptoms worsen before midnight and improve on lying down with the head low.

  • Phosphorus
    Common Name:
    Phosphorus
    Symptoms: Phosphorus is used to treat conditions that irritate and inflame the mucous membranes, serous membranes, nerves and spinal cord, resulting in paralysis. It helps to treat bone destruction and blood vessel degeneration that results in haemorrhagic jaundice. This remedy greatly affects the metabolism of a person and is effective in liver atrophy and hepatitis. Phosphorus is commonly used in tall, slender, narrow-chested people who frequently faint, sweat a lot and experience sudden shooting pains. Other symptoms that call for this remedy are:
    • Memory loss and vertigo with fainting in elderly patients
    • Cough that is initiated by tickling in throat and worsens in cold air, on talking, laughing, and reading 
    • Nosebleeds instead of menstrual flow
    • Dry, smooth, red or white tongue
    • The patient feels like having cold water
    • Inability to talk due to pain in larynx
    • Dilated heart with rapid and soft pulse

Symptoms worsen with exertion, change in weather, on taking warm food or drinks and lying on the painful side. Symptoms improve on lying on the right side, on consuming cold food, going out in open air and after sleeping.

Since homeopathic medicines are highly diluted preparations with the smallest amount of the active ingredient, any substance in the diet having medicinal properties may hinder the treatment. Hence, certain dietary changes along with lifestyle modifications are necessary for effective homeopathic treatment. Here are some things to keep in considerations if you are on homeopathic treatment:

Do’s: 

  • Wear cotton clothes instead of linen garments in warm weather.
  • Do regular exercises and follow a healthy diet.
  • In acute cases, patients show a desire for certain foods and drinks. Gratifying these desires may only pose a slight obstacle to the radical removal of disease. Hence, it is advised to gratify the patient’s desires without refusing or persuading any food or drink

Don’ts: 

  • Do not use homeopathic preparations as substitutes for conventional immunisation.
  • Avoid beverages like herb tea, coffee and liquors or beer with medicinal spices. 
  • Avoid spicy dishes, soups and sauces made of onions, celery, meat and old cheese that possess medicinal qualities.
  • Do not store homeopathic medicines near perfumes, camphor, ether or other volatile products, as they neutralise its effect.
  • Sedentary lifestyle and uncleanliness must be avoided.
  • Do not stay for long in damp marshy places.

Cough is a protective mechanism of the body that helps get rid of irritants entering the airway, hence, it should not be completely suppressed with medicines. Homeopathic medicines help loosen the thick mucus in cases of productive cough or soothe the dry cough instead of suppressing it.

A randomised clinical trial conducted in the USA showed the efficiency of a homeopathic syrup in the treatment of cold and cough in children. To conduct the study, 261 preschool children were given either the homeopathic medicine or placebo two times a day. The medication showed positive results within 3 days of use. It was noted that the severity of cold symptoms was markedly reduced in children who were on homeopathic syrup compared to the group on placebo.

A similar randomised study showed the effectiveness of homeopathic syrup on the severity of cough in patients with upper respiratory tract infection and acute bronchitis. Eighty patients were observed for a week, during which it was noted that those on homeopathic syrup showed reduced severity of cough after 4 days.

A recent study conducted at a children’s hospital in Chicago indicated the efficiency of homeopathic medicines in reducing the severity of whooping cough. The study included 20 patients aged 21 months to 20 years who were given a combination of two medicines - drosera 6c and pertussinum 30c. The treatment alleviated the severity of the condition within days to a week in most cases.

Since homeopathic treatment uses active ingredients in highly diluted doses, it does not have any dangerous side effects. Side effects, if any, are only a transient aggravation of few symptoms like headache, dizziness or diarrhoea. Homeopathy is considered safe for use in babies, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, provided they are taken under the supervision of a homeopathic doctor. When used as a complementary therapy, homeopathic medicines do not interfere with conventional medicines.

Homeopathy is designed to improve the overall health of the person along with management of disease symptoms. Homeopathic treatment can be used to treat acute as well as chronic cough safely, without any side effects. Homeopahic medicines work in a quick and efficient manner if they are taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor. Although homeopathic treatment cannot replace conventional treatment, it can definitely be used as a standalone therapy or along with other conventional medicines. 

 

Dr. Sangeeta Attri

Dr. Sangeeta Attri

Homeopathy
7 Years of Experience

Dr. Prabha Naik

Dr. Prabha Naik

Homeopathy
32 Years of Experience

Dr. Umesh Verma

Dr. Umesh Verma

Homeopathy
4 Years of Experience

Dr. Sabita Singh

Dr. Sabita Singh

Homeopathy
2 Years of Experience

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References

  1. National Health Service [Internet] NHS inform; Scottish Government; Cough
  2. American Lung Association. [Internet] Illinios, Chicago, U.S.Learn About Cough
  3. National Center for Homeopathy [Internet] Mount Laurel, New Jersey, U.S Coughs and Colds
  4. Michigan Medicine. [Internet] University of Michigan Health Library
  5. Jacobs J, Taylor J A. A randomized controlled trial of a homeopathic syrup in the treatment of cold symptoms in young children. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Dec;29:229-234 PMID: 27912951
  6. William Boericke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1 Homoeopathic Materia Medica
  7. Chung Y. Whooping Cough Alleviated by Homeopathic Medicines: A Case Report Altern Ther Health Med. 2018 Mar;24(2):58-61 PMID: 28987075
  8. British Homeopathic Association. Is homeopathy safe?. London; [Internet]
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