Caugh – Make It Stop

 

A cough is usually the result of needing to expel something from the air passages. A dry or unproductive cough does not bring up mucus, however a productive cough does. Different kinks of coughs will reflect different kinds of health issues. To determine what the issue may be you will want to see a qualified health practitioner.

There are several different coughs and they include:  A dry cough that is accompanied by fatigue and fever, and can signal a severe spell of acute bronchitis.

Dry coughs are often times worse at night and this can also be associated with asthma, allergies and/or infections. Constant, and severe coughing accompanied with a thick mucus production may signal chronic bronchitis (associated with smoking or passive exposure to smoke). Allergic coughs may also come along with a runny nose, sometimes some wheezing, and often begins after the consumption of certain foods.

Hemoptysis, coughing up blood: If blood appears in the mucus that is coughed up it may be caused by a rupturing of blood vessels in the airways, nose, throat or lungs and can be mild or serious and you will want to get this evaluated. The blood can appear as rusty-brown or red streaks, or bright red pure blood, or a pinkish froth. If these are your symptoms you will probably want to get a chest X-ray.  If you are 40 years of age or older, and a smoker, or if you have in the past coughed up blood then consider a bronchoscopy. This is a procedure that permits the direct viewing of the lungs using the insertion of a flexible tube.

Coughs that happen during exercise or even cold air may signal asthma. If it is a change in posture that creates the cough then it may signify a lung abscess or some other severe type of disease. And coughs associated with eating could indicate trachea or swallowing problems.

Croup in young children indicates an inflammation of the respiratory tract, and can narrow airways and create a hoarse metallic cough. Hay fever will come with a persistent mild, dry cough and in the spring. If you are hearing a rattle of secretions with that dry, barking kind of cough it could indicate an infection of the trachea.

Pneumonia will produce coughing that is painful and with flecks of blood. If you have a cancer in the airway, this will start with a mild cough that gets worse, and comes with mucus and flecks of blood. If the mucus or sputum is produced and it is white to yellowish, brown or green, then there is an infection involved; streaks of blood means the infection is getting worse and you should seek medical attention. If the mucus is gritty this could be broncholithiasis, a serious condition of the lungs that forms stones from the mineral salts in the bronchi.

Coughing is also caused by simple illnesses, like a common cold, or just irritants from the environment, dust, smoke, pollens, etc. To determine how serious the cough may be – ask yourself these questions: Was it a sudden start? How long have you had the cough? Has it recently changed? What is it that makes it worse? Is there mucus? When does it occur, day, night? What color is the mucus? Are there other symptoms or pain that occurs with the cough? Does it happen during work or exercise? The treatment of the cough will depend on the underlying cause. The Aromatherapy that can help: benzoin, steam with thyme, myrrh, eucalyptus, frankincense, sandalwood, peppermint, chamomile, and juniper essential oils. Bring the water to a boil and add a few drops of the essential oil and allow it to simmer. Now cover your head with a towel and bend your head over the simmering water and inhale for 10-20 minutes.You will want to change to a whole foods diet, eat lots of raw vegetables, fruits and nuts. Avoid salty foods, dairy products, mucus-producing foods, sugar and starches.

If the cough is unrelated to any other condition and is a dry cough umeboshi plum paste may be very soothing. You can make your own cough syrup by using 8 ounces of warm pineapple juice and a couple teaspoons of honey. The honey will activate the bromelain in the pineapple juice. You can also try mixing the juice of one lemon with 2 tablespoons of glycerine, and 12 teaspoons of honey. Stir it before each use and take one teaspoon every hour, doesn’t need refrigeration and reduce as needed.

Still another home remedy is to slice up an onion and cover the slices in honey.  Let it stand overnight. In the morning strain the mixture and take one teaspoon 4 or 5 times per day.

Herbs that you will find helpful are: Mullein, coltsfoot, horehound and these are good for both kids and adults. Use it at least 3 times per day.

And for a very dry irritating cough use marshmallow leaves.  If your cough is accompanied with mucus then make a tea of teaspoon ginger powder, a pinch of cinnamon powder and a pinch of clove in a cup of water. Along with that also gargle a solution that includes a pinch of salt and 2 pinches of turmeric powder in a glass of water.

A good confection for chronic coughs: One part sesame seeds, black seeds if possible, and part shatavari. You can add raw sugar and/or ginger to taste and take an ounce daily. The flower essences of crab apple will also be helpful if the cough is due to an infection.

Homeopathy for dry coughs use: Aconite, Belladonna, Phosphorus, spongia, Drosera, rumex, Bryonia and Phosphorus. The spngia, rumex and Hyoscyamus must be taken alone and not in conjunction with other remedies. If your cough is a loose one then use Merc sol., Ipecac, Kali carb and Kali bich. Using hydrotherapy, the use of ice, steam and water, hot and cold has also been found to be effective. Check with your natural health practitioner to find the best type of this therapy to use. The fresh-squeezed organic juice of a pear (make hot juice) with a cinnamon stick and added cardamom and cumin will also help a lot – provided the cough is not serious.

The supplements that will help are: Vitamin A, zinc lozenges, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E and folic acid are all helpful for coughs.

 

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