A cough is a natural reflex reaction to any irritation, inflammation, or blockage in the airways. It often accompanies an infection such as cold bronchitis but may come about through nervousness, with no direct irritation at all. By keeping the bronchial tubes open and clear, coughing can be of vital importance, and treatment should generally be aimed first at making the cough more effective rather than just suppressing it.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara): one of the best cough remedies, particularly for irritating, spasmodic coughs. It will soothe, loosen mucus, and reduce the spasm.
Hyssop: a calming and relaxing an expectorant, when the cough is associated with restlessness and irritation.
Marshmallow: a demulcent remedy, which means it is highly soothing to the inflamed tubes. For a harsh, dry, and painful cough always include Marshmallow in a mixture, to ease the soreness.
Thyme: powerfully antiseptic, this relives a dry cough linked with a respiratory infection. White Horehound: an expectorant, freeing up thick, sticky mucus and helping it to be removed more effectively.
For short-term treatment of a cough, try a few do of one of these remedies
for a dry short cough which may occur first thing in the morning in the morning, or come on after exposure to cold, dry winds.
for a spasmodic, dry cough which shakes the whole body and is worse with movement or after eating.
for a moist cough, with some wheezing and a feeling of choking, and often much nausea.
for a dry, irritating, and tickly cough, made worse by changes in temperature.
Initially, coughs are quite dry and painful; taking a little honey from a spoon will help to soothe this. to make the hone much more powerful, try mashing a little chopped raw onion or garlic into it first; it is anti-social but very effective! Cut out all dairy products from the diet, to reduce the catarrh.
Either steam inhalations or a hot compress will encourage expectoration and stimulate them to work better.
Once a cough has been eased, try not to slip back into eating patterns which include a lot of sugar, dairy products, cakes, or pastries, as this can lower resistance to infection and help the cough to linger on or even to return in full force.
For children and for anybody where the cause is unknown when the cough persists it is important to seek medical advice, as professional help may be needed. Similarly, if the mucus is bright green or yellow this indicates the presence of an infection, and advice should be sought.