Don’t Ignore That Cough!

The winter is over and spring as arrived, but there are plenty of people coughing out there!  As I move from place to place throughout the day and evening, my ears tune into the sights, sounds and smells around me. My children say I don’t miss anything. I would agree, I am very observant. And one of the things I have a hard time ignoring is the sound of a cough. There are people, young and old, coughing everywhere! Stop and listen.

I don’t find this annoying as some might speculate; I just can’t stop myself from listening closely for clues about what kind of cough it is. Since there are many homeopathic remedies that can stop a cough, my ear is finely tuned to hear the small, unique features about the nature of the cough. When I hear a cough out in public, and not in my office, I wonder what their lungs sound like with a stethoscope. I wonder if the breath sounds can be heard at the base of both lungs and in the periphery, or if their bronchioles are so tight that there is constriction or consolidation. A cough that is repetitive and non-productive can set off a chain reaction of spasm and constriction that can last for months and, yes, even years. This kind of inflammatory pattern can lead to chronic scar tissue in children and adults.  Don’t assume there is nothing to be done. A cough is a natural physiological reaction, but should not last for weeks and months and, definitely, not years!

Coughing is the body’s way of removing irritating substances, excess secretions, and foreign objects from air passages. A cough is important, both as a protective mechanism and for the healing process—which is why a cough should not be artificially suppressed with drugs. When a cough is non-productive, painful, spastic, too intense, or prevents good rest, the use of homeopathic remedies is a great approach to use and can gently help. Homeopathy does not suppress. The person with the cough is matched to the constellation of symptoms, so the remedy is chosen that will best help the body “express” whatever the body is trying to express as a part of the cough.

Coughing can also accompany a wide variety of illnesses or conditions. Sometimes allergies are the culprit and we can test and treat for specific allergens. A cough can also be the chief presenting symptom for asthma or reactive airway. If a person has serious difficulty breathing, coughs up blood or seems very ill in other ways, professional help should always be sought.

Children in particular can change quickly and can be especially difficult to monitor at home without the benefit of a stethoscope. Sometimes a child doesn’t seem like he or she feels badly. They may be playing and smiling, but when I listen to their lungs, I can hear congestion and constriction which can quickly lead to bronchitis or pnuemonia. Using an integrative approach with children is especially desireable. They tend to respond quickly. Sometimes medication is needed for a few days or a few weeks.

Antibiotics, inhalers, herbs, vitamins, and homeopathic remedies can work fine together when you have a well-considered plan. As soon as possible, it is best to adjust and get the body calm with the smallest, balancing treatment possible.

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