Natural Treatment of Coughs and Bronchitis

cough-1Coughs are among the most common problems treated at Cottesloe Naturopathic clinic in Perth. The typical case involves children, but we see all age groups.

Coughing itself is a symptom rather than a disease of course, and is caused by a variety of problems. We will discuss the various causes further on in this article. If we suggest serious issues we will always refer to a doctor for assessment, but we find that almost all of these cases have already sought medical attention.

Homeopathy is especially effective in managing these symptoms. We may also support the individual patient with dietary naturopathic advice or natural supplementation. Another option that we often suggest is essential oils externally or in a diffuser.

This will depend on whether the case is acute or chronic – in other words, whether it is a one-off problem following a cold or virus, or a recurring issue. We can deal with both. But we will not treat more serious or life threating conditions like pneumonia except as a complement to orthodox medical care.

The word bronchitis simply means an inflammation of the bronchi (the larger airways) in the lungs. A cough is often but not always associated with bronchitis. It may simply due to mucus dripping down from behind the nose in a cold in a post-nasal drip. The coughs of sinusitis respond especially well to homeopathic medicine.

We need to understand that a cough is a normal, natural response of the body to clear mucus from the air passages and lungs. It should be assisted, not suppressed.

Acute and Chronic Coughs

The common cold or influenza is the usual cause of acute coughs. Another example is croup, and homeopathy is very effective at dealing with the dry, barking cough of croup.The remedies and treatments are usually similar to that used for colds. You may view our page on the treatment of colds and flu here.

The definition of an acute problem is that it is self-limiting and resolves in time. However, that time may be long and the symptoms distressing. An appropriately prescribed homeopathic remedy can usually hasten resolution of the problem and relieve symptoms.

Intermittent allergies that come and go may also cause acute coughs. However allergies are more likely to result in chronic coughs. In other words, they often fail to resolve and keep simmering at some level. Asthma may also be associated with a chronic cough, unless it is a problem that only occurs after a cold or flu.

cough-2A remedy for an acute cough in homeopathy may be the same if the symptoms are similar, no matter what the cause. That is the homeopathic principle. We will always prescribe an individual constitutional remedy to treat the chronic aspect, if the cough is recurring. Acute remedies help clear the symptoms and constitutional remedies deal with the recurrence in cases of hay fever and asthma. Here is our page on hay fever and our page on asthma.

The patients must stay on the medication prescribed by their doctor in cases of asthma. We advise that they return to their doctor for reassessment before discontinuing any drugs.

Two Main Types of Cough: Dry and Wet

The treatment of acute coughs in naturopathy and homeopathy will depend on whether the cough is dry or wet. Every case is individualised to the exact symptoms. We should consider the sound of the cough, the time of day it occurs, what makes it better or worse and other associated symptoms.

Bryonia, Rumex, Sticta, Ignatia, Phosphorus, Spongia and Manganum are typical remedies for a dry cough. Wet or loose cough medicines include Ipecacuanha, Antimonium tartaricum, Aralia racemosa and Kali bichromicum. The coughs associated with sinusitis will often be fixed by Sanguinaria, Kali bichromicum and Kali iodatum. Croup remedies include Aconitum, Hepar sulphuris and Spongia.

There are many other possible remedies. It depends on the exact pattern of symptoms. That is where we can help you with remedies to have on hand at home for future episodes. The most important thing however is the constitutional remedies to build up the immune system and work towards preventing future coughs.

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