Ayurvedic remedies for cough

The goals of cough treatment are to prevent transmission, alleviate symptoms, prevent complications and improve quality of life.

Non pharmacological management focusses essentially on 4 parameters. First is the prevention of cough. This can be achieved by avoiding close contact with a sick patient and maintaining proper hygiene. The second parameter is the elimination of irritants by avoiding smoking, chemical irritants or noxious fumes. The third parameter is the use of non-medicated lozenges which can provide moisture to a dry throat and reduce irritation and coughing. Thus, lozenges provide symptomatic relief. The fourth parameter involves the use of the nebulized saline, steam or cold air humidifier.

Various Ayurvedic formulations have long been in use to provide patients relief from cough and its symptoms. Some of the formulations are listed below –

  • A cough syrup composed of Tulsi, Mulethi, Banaphsa, Kantkari, Talispatra, Sunthi, Pippali, Vasaka, Shati, Pudina Satva and Shudha Madhu is known to effectively control cough and relieve throat irritation.
  • A composition of Shudh Madhu (Honey), Pudina Satva (Mentha Oil), Nilgiri Tail (Eucalyptus Oil) and Karpoor (Camphor) is recommended for instant relief from all types of cough,.
  • A composition of Shirees Chaal (Albizzia lebback), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Karkatshringi (Pistacia integrima) and Vasaka leaves is beneficial for cough associated with breathlessness / allergic cough.
  • Shwaasamrit composition is also advised for cough associated with breathlessness / allergic cough.
  • A combination of Sitopaladi churna (basis Sharangdhar Samhita), Elaichi (Elettaria cardamomum), Vanslochan ( Bambusa arundinacia), Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Madhu and Sharkara is recommended for wet, productive and unproductive cough types.
  • A combination of Khadira Sar, Pushkar Mool, Karkat Shringi, Katphala, Brahamdandi, Haritaki, lavanga, Shunthi, maricha, Pippali, Ativisha, Krishna Jeerak, Javasaka, Guduchi, Brihati, Kantakari, Vibheetaka, and Khadira Sar is indicated for relief from throat infections, sore throat, hoarseness and cough.
  • Vasavaleha is indicated in symptoms associated with tuberculosis-like cough, breathlessness, chest pain, pain in cardiac region, vomiting of blood (haemoptysis) and fever
  • Sitopaladi Churna is recommended for dry cough and is made from herbs like Pippali, which is one of the best expectorants available in nature.
  • Talisadi Churna is used for wet cough and dyspepsia, and Vasasava is recommended for wet cough.
  • Agastya Haritak Avaleha is indicated in bronchitis, breathlessness, hiccups and other respiratory conditions.
  • Chitrak Haritaki is advised in cough, chronic cold, intestinal worms, loss of appetite, flatulence and breathlessness along with other respiratory conditions.

Important: The right proportion of ingredients is important in Ayurvedic formulations. Relying on home remedies for cough without the advice of a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner may not be advisable.

Positive Lifestyle Changes

• Quit smoking

• Avoid irritants and allergens that make you cough. These include cigarette smoke, air pollution, paint fumes, scented products like perfumes or air fresheners, and allergens like dust, animal dander, mould and pollen.

• Follow a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

• Be physically fit.

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