Cough is a common ailment that can be difficult to treat. If you're looking for an ayurvedic medicine for cough, then keep reading. There are many different types of ayurvedic medicines for cough. In this article, we'll discuss some of the most popular ayurvedic medicines for cough. We'll also give you tips on how ayurvedic medicines can help in curing your cough naturally.

A cough is a natural reflex that is your body’s way of removing irritants from your upper (throat) and lower (lungs) airways. It helps your body heal and protects itself. The cough center situated in the medulla makes your consciousness aware of the fact that you need to cough and also sends impulses back down to the diaphragm and intercostal rib muscles, preparing them for the cough action.

The first action is that the diaphragm drops to suck air into the chest filling the thoracic cavity. The second action following the diaphragm movement is the glottis or ‘voice box’ closing to prevent any air from leaving the chest.1,2 

cough

Causes of cough1

Irritants or allergens: 

  • Smoke
  • Strong smells
  • Mold
  • Dust 
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Certain medications viz. ACE inhibitors

Medical conditions that can cause cough: 

  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Acute and chronic bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Whooping cough
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Throat and vocal disorders
  • Heart failure and other cardiac conditions
  • COVID-19
  • Postnasal drip
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Types and signs and symptoms of cough1

Based on duration:

  • Acute cough: sudden onset and lasts for two to three weeks
  • Subacute cough: one that stays around after you have had an infection and lasts for three to eight weeks.
  • Chronic cough: lasts longer than eight weeks.

Based on mucus:

  1. Productive cough: also known as wet cough, that brings up mucus or phlegm.
  2. Non-productive cough: also known as dry cough, that does not bring up mucus or phlegm.

Based on specific conditions and relative sounds:

  • Whooping cough: also known as pertussis, cough that sounds like a “whoop” 
  • Barking: cough that sounds like barking which can be a sign of croup.
  • Wheezing: type of cough that occurs due to blocked airways.

Tests advised in cough

  • Blood tests: Haemogram, Absolute eosinophil count
  • Sputum tests
  • Radiological tests: plain X-ray of the chest, CT scan of the chest 

Cough – An Ayurvedic View3

Kasa (cough) can manifest as a symptom or as an independent disease. Vata dosha along with kapha dosha gets obstructed in the lower part of the body and moves upwards vitiating in the upper parts of the body giving rise to cough which can be either dry or with phlegm.

Types of Kasa explained in Ayurveda are: 

  1. Vataja 
  2. Pittaja
  3. Kaphaja
  4. Kshyaja
  5. Kshataja

Vataja Kasa:

Etiology mentioned is the intake of excess dry, cold and astringent food items, intake of very less food or starving for a long time, suppression of natural urges, and excessive physical strain.

Symptoms of Vataja Kasa are excruciating pain in the chest, flanks, headache, dryness in the throat and mouth, dry cough, cough with pain, hoarseness of voice, resonant sound during cough, etc.

Pittaja Kasa:

Causes include excessive intake of pungent, hot, sour food items. Exposure to scorching sunlight.

Symptoms: expectoration which is yellow-colored, burning sensation in the throat and chest, bitterness in the mouth, excessive thirst, giddiness, and a feeling as if smoke is emitted out of the chest. 

Kaphaja Kasa:

causes are- excessive intake of sweet, heavy digestible food items, and excessive sleep. 

Symptoms are- anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, chronic rhinitis, feeling heaviness in the body, sweetness in the mouth, thick mucus expectoration, and cough without pain.

Kshayaja Kasa:

Intake of food at irregular intervals, suppression of natural urges, and excessive grief, or worry are some of the etiological factors explained.

Symptoms- Expectoration is green or red colored with a foul smell, becomes emaciated, pallor, pain in the chest and flanks, chronic rhinitis, anorexia, hoarseness of voice.

Kshataja Kasa:

Cough caused due to trauma to the chest.

Symptoms are – blood mixed sputum, excess pain in the chest, pricking or throbbing pain experienced by the patients, pain in the joints of fingers and toes, associated fever, dyspnea, hoarseness of voice, and cough with a sound resembling that of a pigeon. 

Ayurvedic treatment for cough3,4

Vataja, Pittaja and Kaphaja varieties of Kasa are curable and the other two types Kshayaja and Kshataja Kasa are difficult to treat and hence are manageable.

Vataja Kasa:

Treatments followed are Snehana (oleation), Swedana (sudation), and Basti (medicated enema). Followed by intake of peya (thin gruel), yusha (vegetable soup), medicated milk and meat soup as diet.

Pittaja Kasa:

If this type of Kasa is associated with kapha dosha, Vamana (emesis) is advised, and if the expectoration is thin and yellow colored Virechana (purgation) is advised. Peya (thin gruel), leha yoga (linctus recipes), and intake of medicated ghee are the post-emesis or purgation therapies.

Kaphaja Kasa:

Vamana (emesis) is the therapy advised.

Kshyaja Kasa :

It is caused by the aggravation of all three doshas and hence the line of treatment is based on the dosha involved. 

Kshataja Kasa requires nourishing therapy and hence initially digestive stimulants are given to enhance appetite and then Brimhana (nourishing therapy) followed by purificatory therapies on alternate days is given.

Ayurvedic Medicine for Cough

ayurvedic-cough-syrup

Different ayurvedic medicines are selected depending on the dosha predominance. Below are the few commonly used ayurvedic medicine for cough.

  • Pippalyasava
  • Vasakasava
  • Dashamoolarishta
  • Draksharishta
  • Khadirarishta
  • Dashamoola katutraya kashaya
  • Dashamoola Haritaki leha
  • Agastya Haritaki avaleha 
  • Haridra khanda
  • Talisadi choorna
  • Sitopaladi choorna
  • Kantakari ghritha
  • Vyoshadi vati
  • Eladi Vati
  • Vyoshadi Vatakam

Ayurvedic cough syrups

Below are few ayurvedic cough syrups that are used in treating cough that arise due to carious reason.

  1. Diakof
  2. Mincof
  3. Swasamrutam
  4. Tussnil
  5. Kofol
  6. Honitus
  7. A-kof
  8. Amruta Kasturi
  9. Cafavin
  10. Cofheal

Diet and Lifestyle to be followed 

Thin gruel (cooking rice with more water content): Adding an equal quantity of sesame seeds and milk or an equal quantity of sesame seeds and rock salt is beneficial.3

An old variety of rice, barley, wheat, pepper, ginger, garlic, warm water, hot soups such as vegetable soup, chicken soup, meat soup, etc. spicy food intake is the dietary instructions.

Avoid cold breeze and polluted air, and avoid exposure to air conditioners. Wear a mask to cover the nose and mouth, regular nasal douching, and inhalation of steam (3-4 times a day) are the lifestyle regimens to be followed during cough.

Effective home remedies for cough

  • Ginger: Sliced ginger or grated ginger added to hot tea gives relief from cough.
  • Honey: Tea prepared with two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with adequate water.
  • Turmeric milk: Boil milk with one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper powder.
  • Lemon: A freshly squeezed lemon with warm water or tea is good for cough.
  • Juice of wet ginger and tulsi- each one teaspoon mixed with one teaspoon of honey and taken 2-3 times a day.
  • Half teaspoon of powdered black pepper mixed with jaggery and taken two times a day.
  • Small piece of ginger (wet) fried in ghee to be taken two times a day.
  • Mouth gargles with saline water are very beneficial.
home remedies for cough

When to see a doctor 5

Visit the doctor if the symptoms last for more than a few weeks or if the cough involves the following things:

  • Thick, greenish-yellow colored sputum.
  • Wheezing
  • Experiencing fever
  • Experiencing shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Ankle swelling
  • Weight loss

Conclusion

Cough is a symptom seen in many diseases or emerges as an independent disease. The treatment modalities are based on the pathogenesis and symptoms involved in the types of cough. Ayurveda has its unique treatment guidelines based on the dosha involved. Various preparations as discussed above such as asava –arishta (medicated fermented preparations), and linctus preparations are effective in treating cough. 

NOTE:
“This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this WebSite. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call or visit your doctor.”
For more information about Ayurvedic Medicine for Cough and for consultation call +919945850945
Limited consultations per day with prior appointments only.

References and citations

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17755-cough
  2. https://www.news24.com/health24/syndication/yourhealth/news/the-mechanism-of-coughing-20150601
  3. https://www.easyayurveda.com/2015/11/05/charaka-kasa-chikitsa-17th-chapter/
  4. https://www.easyayurveda.com/2020/11/10/kasa-causes-treatment/
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/cough/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050846

Share With Your Friends