Cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs, and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound. Coughing is an action performed by the body to throw out or to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages in their way. A cough is usually initiated to clear the phlegm that is been caught in the trachea or its neighboring areas.
Coughing is also triggered when a bolus of food goes down the trachea instead of the esophagus because of the failure of the epiglottis, how ever this may result in choking rather. Frequent or continuous chronic coughing usually is seen when there is some presence of a disease.
If the patient is a non-smoker and has a normal chest X-ray, the cause of chronic cough in most of all the patients is due to asthma, reflux ( heartburn) or post-nasal drip.(almost about 93%). Some other causes that contribute to chronic cough include chronic bronchitis and medications like as ACE inhibitors. Coughing occurs both voluntarily as well as involuntarily.
A condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (gastro esophageal reflux) can cause coughing, especially when a person is lying down, this should not be mistaken as cough caused by disease. Sometimes cough can also be a side-effect of medications that are administered via an inhaler. Many a times drugs used for treating high blood pressure can also cause side effects of cough, like the beta blockers and some ACE inhibitors
It is important to identify and treat the origin of the cough, along with the disease that resulted to it. Avoid smoking and coming in direct contact with people who smoke or who suffer from cold or flu symptoms. Wash hands at frequent times and especially during episodes of upper-respiratory illnesses.
Causes of cough
There are many causes from the small ones to danger ones. This can also be physiological event if something irritating goes into the windpipe including some food particles while swallowing. Some illness like pneumonia, heart failure or a clot in the blood vessels of the lung (called as pulmonary embolism) also produces the cough.
Smoking and asthma also give rise to coughing. Some condition like gastro-esophageal reflux where the stomach content comes back into the mouth may also produce the cough. Cough could be the side effect of some allopathic drug like angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) inhibitors. Infections like bacteria, virus also produce the irritation to the lungs, bronchial tree or the windpipe itself and produce cough.
Environmental substances that irritate the lungs, air passage or the throat cause coughing. Cigarette smoking, pipe smoke, low environmental humidity, pollution, dist, dirt, grimes and congested place also create cough in an individual. The profession also plays an important role in producing the cough. Like a person working in woolen factory or chemical factory or pharmaceutical factory where there are particles of the materials irritating the respiratory tract is most common cause producing the cough.
Ayurveda believes that Kapha Dosha dominating disease. Those foods and other deeds that aggravate the Kapha Dosha also give rise to the cough. Ayurveda also favors some chronic disease as described above as a causative factor for producing the kaasa or cough.
Types and symptoms of cough
Signs and symptoms which revile the infections are fever, body aches, sore throats, sinus pressure, chills, post nasal drip, malaise, nausea, vomiting etc are there if the cough is infectious. There are many symptoms but broadly, it can be classified under two categories; productive and non-productive.
This is also called as dry-cough. There won’t be any mucus or purulent discharge from the respiratory tract along with the cough. In this, whenever a person coughs, he or she finds difficult in breathing. The dry cough produces more noise as compare to the productive cough i.e. cough with discharge.
As the name suggests, the cough with some discharge whether purulent or non purulent or phlegm is considered to be productive cough. The color of the product may vary from person to person and condition to condition. It could be white, yellow or bloody, which is dangerous indicating some serious problem. All the time, a person feels that the throat is getting irritated and needs something expelling out, which will not give any good results though.
Ayurveda describes five types of cough i.e. kaasa. This includes Vataja kaasa (produced by Vata Dosha), Pittaja (by Pitta Dosha), kaphaja (by Kapha Dosha), kshayaja and kshataja. Vataja features pain in flanks, lungs and in chest. It has mainly dry cough. Pittaja has purulent discharge (generally foul smelling and having yellow color). There may be fever associated with the pittaja kaasa. Sour taste feeling in the mouth is very common.
The kaphaja kaasa is having white discharge and sweet taste all time in mouth. The tongue is quoted and heaviness in the chest is felt. The person with this type of kaasa may have headache. Kshayaja kaasa come from sever infections. If someone does excessive intercourse, suppression of natural urges like urine, feces etc invite this type of cough. All the bodily doshas are affected. Kshataja kaasa is developed by over exertion of anything. This may include excessive traveling in open air, carrying or lifting the load which is out of your capacity.
Home Remedies for Cough The following are some traditionally prescribed remedies for cough.
Take one tea spoon of pure honey and to it add a pinch of grounded white pepper. Regular usage of this 2-3 times a day for about 4-5 days will cure your cough. This is one of the important home remedies for cough.
Honey when taken with black pepper will loosen the mucous and make you spit the mucus. This will be helpful in throwing the irritating substances of the trachea and help you in treating cough. This is one of the effective cough home remedies.
Another effective natural remedy for cough is that if you have cough due to cold then just drink tea made of ginger 3-4 times a day or just eat raw ginger, this will subside your cough.
Drinking red raspberry, honey suckle, or liquor ice tea with honey is helpful in treating cough in 2-3 days. This is one of the effective cough treatment.
Take 2 tablespoons of honey and mix it in one cup of orange juice and drink it. This is a good cough remedy.
Find powerful herbal remedies Dry Cough
Prepare a cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea, and honey. Drink it daily and your cough will subside.
Another effective cough treatment is to before going to bed just take a spoonful of honey with few drops of vodka or brandy in it.
Mix 1-2 tsp of pure home made turmeric powder in warm milk and drink it twice a day for coughs of a bacterial origin. Within 2 days your cough will be gone by using this method. This is one of the useful home remedies for cough.
You may also gargle with warm water to which lot of salt is added as many times as possible during the day. This will help you to clear phlegm caught in the throat.
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