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Home Remedies for Cough

The Best Home Remedies for Cough backed by Science

Persistent cough can be really frustrating and uncomfortable. 

On one hand, modern cough syrups and biomedicines can give us immediate relief but the relief they offer itself is either short-lived or has some serious side effects such as blurred vision, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, restlessness or more.

If you’re looking for a better approach to get rid of cough, it’s time you turn to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda offers a treasure trove of natural remedies that are safe, effective, and free from any side effects. 

From the warming spices of cloves and ginger to the soothing properties of tulsi, our mothers and grandmothers have long used homemade kadhas to cure coughs with ease.

In this article, we’re going to explore the most effective home remedies for cough. 

The best part?

These remedies can be easily prepared in the comfort of your own home, providing you with natural relief that is both cost-effective and gentle on your body.

So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you on your journey to natural home remedies for cough relief with Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Cough

Ayurvedic Treatment for Cough
Source: Canva

Where modern science has its theories for Cough; Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, has a holistic approach to health that considers the mind, body, and spirit as interconnected.

In Ayurveda, Cough is termed as Kasa Roga; it manifests as an imbalance in the body’s energy or Tri-doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).

Vata represents the air element, and an imbalance in Vata can cause dry, hacking coughs. To help balance Vata, remedies need to help lubricate the throat and relieve dryness. Honey, ginger and ghee can help do just that.

Pitta represents the dosha associated with fire and metabolism. Imbalance of Pitta causes a cough with yellow or green phlegm. To help balance Pitta, remedies need to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated tissues. Turmeric and licorice root can help fix it. 

Kapha represents the earth and water elements, and an imbalance in Kapha can cause a wet cough with excess phlegm. To balance Kapha, remedies must have the ability to break up mucus and clear the respiratory tract. This is where black pepper, tulsi and salt water gargles can help.

According to Ayurveda, coughing is a natural reflex of the body that helps to remove excess mucus and foreign particles from the respiratory system. Hence, the ayurvedic approach to treatment is to relieve the causes that result in imbalance of the doshas.

Understanding the Types of Cough and their Root Causes

Types of Cough
Source: Canva

Cough isn’t of a single type. Based on different types of Dosha, cough has different types. Let’s have a look at them.

As per Ayurveda, Cough or Kasa has 5 types:

  1. Vataj Kasa
  2. Pittaj Kasa
  3. Kaphaj Kasa
  4. Kshataja Kasa (caused by injury)
  5. Kshayaja Kasa (caused by wasting diseases)

1. Dry Cough or Vataj Kasa

It is a type of Kasa caused by an imbalance of Vata dosha that could be triggered by cold and dry weather, anxiety, or poor digestion. This could not produce phlegm or mucus, hence called dry cough or unproductive cough.

Symptoms of Vataj Kasa are:

  • chest pain
  • Tired look on the face
  • Loss of strength
  • Patients cannot speak
  • Frequent urge to cough
  • Dry cough

2. Pittaj Kasa

Pitta Dosha mainly produces Pittaj Kasa; this cough produces yellowish or greenish mucus or phlegm in small quantities.

Symptoms of Pittaj Kasa are

  • Burning sensation in the chest
  • Dry mouth
  • Desire to drink water
  • Sometimes vomiting yellow material
  • Patient looks pale
  • Burning sensation in the body.

3. Wet Cough or Kaphaja Kasa

It is a type of Kasa (cough) caused by the dominance of Kapha dosha that produces a lot of white, thick mucus or phlegm during coughing.

Symptoms of Kaphaja Kasa are: 

  • Sticky mouth
  • Mild continuous Headache
  • Body feels heavy, like full of phlegm
  • Sore throat
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Not many attacks of cough
  • A lot of phlegm comes out.

4. Kshataja Kasa

Kshataja Kasa shows a combination of Vata and Pitta Kasa symptoms and is caused by injury or trauma (e.g., excessive sex, carrying heavy weights).

Symptoms of Kshataja Kasa

  • Continuous coughing
  • Blood spitting
  • Fever and pain in finger joints.

5. Kshayaja Kas

Kshayaja Kasa occurs due to the vitiation of all three doshas, with Vata being dominant. It is a borderline of tuberculosis.

Symptoms of Kshayaja Kasa

  • Pain all over the body
  • Reduction of muscle tissue
  • Spits blood and pus

Yet, why is it necessary to clearly differentiate the kind of cough?

differentiate the kind of cough
Source: Canva

Although a mild cough is harmless, who knows if your cough is a sign of minor irritation or a major health issue?

Not only can it save you time and money, but identifying the type of cough can also help you receive targeted treatment that’s right for you.

For example, a dry cough may be caused by allergies, while a wet or productive cough may be a sign of a respiratory infection such as bronchitis. A persistent cough that lasts for weeks or months may be a sign of a more severe condition such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In addition, identifying the type of cough can also help to prevent the spread of contagious respiratory illnesses. Some types of coughs, such as those associated with COVID-19 or the flu, can be highly contagious and require special precautions to avoid spreading the illness to others.

Identifying the type of cough could save you from an unknown danger. 

Why use Ayurvedic Remedies instead of over-the-counter medications?

No matter how many biomedicines, drugs, or sugar-free cough syrups we use, in the end, what works perfectly are our Grandma’s old remedies. And these old home remedies are none other than one of the thousands of years old ayurvedic remedies. 

Ayurvedic remedies for cough are based on the belief that the body has a natural ability to heal itself and that a balanced diet, regular exercise, and herbs and spices can help promote overall wellness.

4 of the Most Effective Ayurvedic Home Remedies for a Cough

Ayurvedic Home Remedies for a Cough
Source: Canva

Here is the list of the best ayurvedic cough remedies to help soothe symptoms, reduce inflammation, and support respiratory health.

1. Tulsi (Holy basil)

Also known as ‘Holy Basil,’ ‘Queen of Herbs,’ or ‘Mother Medicine of Nature’ is known for its Vata and Kapha pacifying properties.

It has been used for centuries for various health benefits, including cough and respiratory issues.

How to take tulsi for Coughing?

  • Tulsi tea: You can make it by boiling a few tulsi leaves in water for a few minutes. Strain the leaves and drink the tea. You can add honey or lemon to the tea for added taste.
  • Tulsi juice: Crush a few tulsi leaves and extract the juice. Mix the juice with honey or ginger juice and drink it. This can help to soothe a cough and sore throat.
  • Tulsi oil: Tulsi oil can be mixed with eucalyptus oil and applied to the chest and back to relieve cough and congestion.
  • Chewing Tulsi leaves: You can also chew on a few tulsi leaves to relieve cough and throat irritation.

Benefits of Tulsi for Cough

  • Acts as an expectorant: Tulsi helps to loosen and expel phlegm from the chest, which can help to relieve coughs and congestion. Prakash and Gupta (2005) reviewed the therapeutic uses of Tulsi and found that it acts as an expectorant, helping to loosen and expel phlegm from the chest1.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Tulsi has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, which can be helpful for coughs and other respiratory issues2.
  • Boosts immunity: Tulsi has immune-boosting properties that can help to strengthen the body’s immune system, which can help to prevent respiratory infections and reduce the severity of coughs3.
  • Anti-microbial properties: Tulsi has anti-microbial properties that can help to fight off bacterial and viral infections, which can cause coughs. 4

2. Turmeric

Due to its medicinal value and strong antiviral, antiallergic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is nature’s gift as a spice. 

With a compound called curcumin, turmeric can effectively treat dry cough and provide you relief from respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.

How to take turmeric for Cough

  • Turmeric milk: Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink it before bed. This can help to relieve cough and promote better sleep.
  • Turmeric tea: Boil a teaspoon of turmeric powder in water for a few minutes. Strain the mixture and drink the tea. You can add honey or lemon to the tea for added taste.
  • Turmeric paste: Mix turmeric powder with honey or ginger juice to make a paste. Take a teaspoon of the paste twice daily to relieve cough and throat irritation.

Benefits of Turmeric for Cough

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, which can be helpful for coughs and other respiratory issues.5
  • Anti-microbial properties: Turmeric has anti-microbial properties that can help to fight off bacterial and viral infections, which can cause coughs.6
  • Boosts immunity: Turmeric has immune-boosting properties that can help to strengthen the body’s immune system, which can help to prevent respiratory infections and reduce the severity of coughs.7
  • Acts as an expectorant: Turmeric can help to loosen and expel phlegm from the chest, which can help to relieve coughs and congestion.

3. Ginger

Also known as Zingiber officinale, Ginger has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years for its many health benefits, including its ability to help alleviate coughs.

Its potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties boost immunity and help you fight against infections effectively.

Ways to take Ginger for Cough

  • Ginger tea: Boil a few slices of fresh Ginger in water for about 10-15 minutes. You can add honey and lemon to taste. Drink this tea 2-3 times a day to help relieve your cough.
  • Ginger juice: Grate a small piece of Ginger and squeeze out the juice. Mix this with honey and lemon and drink it 2-3 times daily.
  • Ginger powder: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of ginger powder with honey and take it 2-3 times a day.

Benefits of Ginger for Cough

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Ginger contains compounds like gingerols and shogaols with anti-inflammatory properties. When you have a cough, your airways become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Ginger can help reduce this inflammation and make it easier for you to breathe.8
  • Antimicrobial properties: Ginger also has antimicrobial properties that can help fight off the infection causing your cough. This is particularly helpful if a bacterial or viral infection causes your cough.9
  • Mucolytic properties: Ginger contains compounds that can help break up mucus and phlegm in your lungs, making it easier to expel them when you cough.10

4. Honey

If you are a honey lover, this will be a win-on-win for you. 

With its antibacterial properties, Honey is an essential ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, particularly for treating coughs and respiratory ailments.

Methods to Use Honey Against Coughing

  • Honey and warm water: Mix one to two teaspoons of honey in a cup of warm water and drink it slowly to soothe a cough.
  • Honey and lemon: Mix one teaspoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice in a cup of warm water to help relieve coughing and congestion.
  • Honey and Ginger: Grate a small piece of fresh Ginger and mix it with one teaspoon of honey. Eat this mixture twice a day to help soothe a cough.
  • Honey and cinnamon: Mix one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cinnamon powder in a cup of warm water. Drink this mixture once or twice a day to help reduce coughing.

Benefits of Honey for cough

  • Soothes throat irritation: Honey has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe the throat and reduce irritation caused by coughing.11
  • Relieves coughing: Honey has a natural cough-suppressing effect, which can help reduce the frequency and severity of coughing.12
  • Boosts immunity: Honey contains antioxidants and other compounds that can boost the immune system, helping the body fight off infections that may be causing the cough.13
  • Moisturises/Lubricates the throat: Honey has a thick, dense consistency that can help coat and moisturise the throat, reducing dryness and irritation thus helping in sore throat condition. 14

Vedicof – Ayurvedic Formula for Cough Treatment

While we believe that the remedies mentioned above in this article can be effective for treating coughs, we would also like to suggest you to try our product – Vedicof.

Vedicof is an ayurvedic cough syrup formula which is the composition of Pudina, Tulsi, Mulethi, Ginger, Gulbanafsha, Vasaka, Kantakari, Nilgiri oil & Shuddh Madhu (Honey). 

Its antibacterial properties help reduce throat infections, fight allergies, and are perfectly safe for children as well as adults .  Moreover this is sugar free product, so fit for diabetics.  Advised dosage is as follows:

  • Take 1-2 teaspoons twice a day.
  • Or make a powerful Kadha by adding 2 teaspoons of Vedicof to a cup of hot water.

Bottomline

Ayurvedic remedies for cough
Source: Canva

Cough is a common condition caused by allergies, respiratory infections, and environmental irritants that could become a significant issue if ignored or ill-treated. 

While there are many over-the-counter medicines for coughing, the best option is finding effective ayurvedic remedies. 

Ayurvedic remedies are not only cost-effective and easily accessible but also free from potentially harmful chemicals. 

Vedical (our own company) is trying to bring the benefits of Ayurveda to the masses with ayurvedic formulations approved by the Ministry of AYUSH (GOI). 

Why are Ayurvedic Remedies worth a try?

  • Natural ingredients: Ayurvedic remedies use natural ingredients such as herbs and spices, generally considered safe and free of side effects.
  • Holistic approach: Ayurveda treats the body as a whole rather than just targeting the symptoms of a particular ailment. This means that Ayurvedic remedies aim to address the root cause of the cough rather than just suppressing it.
  • Boosts immune system: Many Ayurvedic remedies are believed to strengthen the immune system, which can help the body fight off infections that may be causing the cough.
  • Soothes throat: Ayurvedic remedies often contain ingredients known to soothe and heal the throat, which can help reduce irritation and inflammation.
  • Personalised treatment: Ayurveda recognizes that each person is unique, so each person’s treatment should be tailored to their needs. This means that Ayurvedic remedies may be customised to address the specific type of cough and the underlying causes.
  • Long-term benefits: Ayurvedic remedies promote overall health and well-being rather than treating a specific symptom. This means using Ayurvedic remedies for cough treatment may offer long-term benefits beyond just relieving the cough.

Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle can improve overall health, including stress, digestion, and immunity. So, why not give Ayurveda a try? 

Let us take a step towards a healthier lifestyle and embrace the wisdom of Ayurveda.

Can Ayurvedic herbs help relieve cough symptoms?

Yes, Ayurveda recommends using herbs such as ginger, turmeric, and honey to relieve cough symptoms. These herbs contain natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce inflammation and fight off infections.

Are there any Ayurvedic remedies for dry cough?

Yes, Ayurveda suggests using herbs such as licorice root, vasaka, and tulsi to relieve dry cough symptoms. These herbs contain natural compounds that can help soothe the throat and reduce irritation.

What are some lifestyle modifications that can help prevent coughs?

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent coughs. This includes consuming a healthy and balanced diet, staying hydrated, practicing stress-reducing techniques such as yoga and meditation, and avoiding smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants.

References

  1. Prakash P, Gupta N. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Jul-Sep;49(3):125-31. PMID: 16450269.[]
  2. Rao NR, Nammi S. Antidiabetic and renoprotective effects of the chloroform extract of Ocimum sanctum (Linn) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2013 Feb;23(2):116-23. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2012.746918. Epub 2012 Dec 17. PMID: 23240643.[]
  3. Jagetia GC, Baliga MS, Venkatesh P, Ulloor JN. Influence of seed extract of Ocimum sanctum Linn on the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses of mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep;92(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.02.012. PMID: 15234777.[]
  4. Mondal S, Varma S, Bamola VD, Naik SN, Mirdha BR, Padhi MM, Mehta N, Mahapatra SC. Double-blinded randomized controlled trial for immunomodulatory effects of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract on healthy volunteers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jul 14;136(3):452-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 May 19. PMID: 21605658.[]
  5. The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, have been demonstrated in several animal and human studies (Gupta et al., 2013; Jurenka, 2009).[]
  6. Turmeric has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of bacteria and viruses, including those that can cause respiratory infections (Prasad et al., 2014).[]
  7. Some studies have suggested that turmeric may have immune-boosting properties, although more research is needed to fully understand this effect (Aggarwal et al., 2013).[]
  8. Bode and Dong (2011) conducted a review of the anti-inflammatory effects of gingerols and shogaols, compounds found in ginger. They found that these compounds have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which may be useful in treating respiratory inflammation associated with coughs.[]
  9. Nurtjahja-Tjendraputra et al. (2003) investigated the antimicrobial activity of ginger against various bacteria and viruses. They found that ginger had potent antimicrobial effects against a range of pathogens, including those that can cause respiratory infections.[]
  10. Ali et al. (2008) conducted a review of the pharmacological properties of ginger. They found that ginger contains compounds that may have mucolytic effects and can help break up mucus and phlegm in the respiratory tract, which may be beneficial in treating coughs and congestion.[]
  11. Majtan et al. (2012) investigated the antiviral effects of honey bee-derived components against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in vitro. They found that some components of honey had antiviral effects against RSV.[]
  12. Oduwole et al. (2018) conducted a systematic review of the use of honey for acute cough in children. They found that honey may be an effective treatment for reducing the frequency and severity of coughing in children.[]
  13. Paul et al. (2010) conducted a randomised controlled trial to compare the effectiveness of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on cough and sleep quality in children and their parents. They found that honey was more effective at reducing cough frequency and improving sleep quality than no treatment.[]
  14. McIntosh et al. (2019) conducted a systematic review to evaluate the use of topical honey for the treatment of cough in children. They found that topical honey was more effective than placebo or no treatment in reducing cough frequency and severity in children with acute cough.[]