It may sound only a five-letter simple word, but it is very harsh and a panicky health issue for a person who suffers from it. When the vocal cords open, air releases with an explosion kind of sound. Mostly cough is caused by infections like common cold etc. In some cases, there may be some other causes also, which might be simple or dangerous.
Why it is so unpleasant?
As very large percentage of human are suffering from cough, almost in every part of the world. If not treated properly it can harm you in many ways.
Types of Nutrition:-
Cough can be of 2 types
- Acute (Short Term Cough).
- Chronic (Long Term Cough).
Acute (Short Term Cough):A cough is known to be acute when its duration is not more then 20 to 25 days and within 25 days patient should get well. Seasonal allergies, hay fever and common cold can be the reason of acute cough.
Causes of acute cough:
- Common Cold
This (common cold) can affect children as well as adults, children younger than 6 years are more prone to the common cold, but even healthy adults who are in good health can also get infection twice to thrice a year. In most cases, the common cold is not considered as a serious disease, but if it persists for more than 10 to 12 days then the patient should be advised to consult a physician.
Symptoms of the Common Cold:
- a) Runny or stuffy nose with irritation in nose as well as in eyes .
- b) Feeling of unease throughout day and night makes patient uneasey
- c) Patient feels a low grade fever in the body.
- d) Throat gets sore and the patient feels thirsty quite frequently.
- e) More frequent coughs.
- f) Headache with body pain is also one of the most common Symptom.
- g) Persistent sneezing and congestion in the body
Causes other than common cold for acute cough:
In the beginning, its dry cough but within few days it turns to wet cough with yellow or green color mucus. Patient suffering from pneumonia feels trouble in breathing, pain while breathing or coughing.
It’s a viral infection that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the airways that carry air into your lungs. When these tubes get infected, they swell. Thick fluid (Mucus) forms inside them. This narrows the airways and making it harder to breathe.
The flu virus can also cause cough with wheezing and tightness of the chest. You might cough up phlegm or mucus, this happens rarely in the early stages of flu.
Long Term Cough (Chronic) Causes:
When a person is having cough more than 2 months and is not recovering, it is known as chronic infection .Lung cancer can also be one of the cause of cough infection, but it’s not necessary in every case of chronic cough or long duration cough. It could be long term lung diseases , exposure to airborne pollutants
- Asthma: The person suffering from asthma gets inflamed airways, which can cause difficulty in breathing as well as it makes you hard to breathe. Patient suffering from asthma gets easily fatigued as compared to a non-asthmatic person.
- GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disease when acid from the stomach backs up to your oesophagus, this is also one of the causes of coughing. The sign of this kind of cough is as you lie down on bed for sleep, as soon as you lay down, you start coughing.
- Medication-related cough: There are some drugs which may cause cough in some patients, like – ACE inhibitors are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
- COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It’s a chronic hacking cough that produces a lot of mucus mostly in the morning; the main cause of this disease is smoking.
- TB: Lungs when attacked by contagious infection is known as TB or (tuberculosis), it can spread to other parts of the body also, in some cases to spine and brain. It’s also one of the main causes for cough.
When it is Necessary to consult a Physician?
If the problem is with children:
- If fever persists for more than two days in children and fever keeps rising.
- Headache or cough persists.
- If the child is having loss of appetite.
- The child is not active and getting unusual drowsiness.
- Severe pain in the ear of the child.
If the problem is with Adults:
- When your fever persists for more than 5 days and temperature is more than 38.5-degree centigrade.
- Sinus with pain, headaches, running nose and sore throat.
- When you feel wheezing and unwell.
How to treat it?
Mostly cough gets clear by its own, the best way to treat cough which is caused by viral infection is to take steam and let the immune system deal with it, and hence it’s very important that you should have a great immune system.
Home Remedies for Cough:
- Mulethi (Licorice)
It is very beneficial for treating cough of any kind, as it reduces inflammation in the respiratory system.
How to use it:
Take some dried pieces of Licorice and make powder by crushing them and add some honey and try to have it thrice a day for cough treatment.
- Basil Leaves (Tulsi ) is also very effective for cough treatment.
How to use it:
Have some dried basil leaves, make powder out of it, add some dried ginger powder and mix both of them very well. Take 1 teaspoonful of this mix and 1 teaspoon of honey with warm water and repeat it thrice a day. If possible, first dose should be taken on an empty stomach for better results, but it is not compulsory you can take it whenever you feel fine with right ratio thrice a day.
- Turmeric and Honey:
As turmeric is recommended as a very good anti-biotic herb, if added with honey, can do wonders in healing cough.
Method of using it:
Take 1 glass lukewarm milk with half teaspoonful of turmeric and honey.
- Cinnamon powder: It is also one of very effective herb to treat cough.
Method of using it:
Just a pinch of cinnamon powder in a glass of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoonful of honey is very beneficial in the cough of any kind.
5. Aniseeds (Saunf):
It is considered to be very effective herbal remedy for cough.
Method of using it:
Take one glass of water and boil it with 1 and a half teaspoonful of aniseeds and the mixture should be consumed with 1 teaspoonful of honey and add just a pinch of black pepper to it. This is also a very effective home remedy for cough.
- Vikram Chauhan, MD – AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic, and Krishna Herbal Company.