So where do I begin…. coughs can be so tricky to treat. Dry, chesty, loose, non productive, barking and let’s not forget the changeable cough! In order to be able to identify the cough we need to get really good at listening and watching. As I say to my clients, you become a bit of a detective. You may notice that the cough is worse when in the heat, or aggravated by change of temperatures. It may improve with hot drinks and worsen when eating – all these observations are invaluable to the prescriber.
If you are able to treat the first stage symptoms you can often stop the progress. However if you or a family member suffers recurrent upper respiratory infections, consider a constitutional prescription from your homeopath to help stimulate the vitality and reduce this predisposition.
CROUP is one of my favourite coughs to treat, simply because it is so easy to recognise. That distinctive barking sound – a hollow cough with little or no expectoration. Usually it occurs in children and can start with hoarseness and fever that develops into a loud, barking, harsh cough. Usually this can be brought on by being out in cold, dry winds. If you can treat croup at the very first stage your NO 1 remedy will be ACONITE. If it goes beyond the first stage you may need to look at other remedies – possibly hepar sulph or spongia. Obviously this will depend on the symptoms presenting.
GENERAL COUGHS – some children develop coughs when teething, others may start suffering from repeated coughs once they start school. This may be a phase where their immune systems are trying to adapt to the new environment. We must remember that coughing is an important reflex that helps protect our airway and lungs against irritants. So when we cough our body is doing its best to protect us.
It’s important when treating coughs that the patient drinks lots of liquids, as this will help to loosen the mucus, honey and lemon drinks are good. Get the patient to cough up the phlegm as often as possible, please remember to teach children to cough up phlegm as soon as they are able to. The colour and consistency of phlegm is valuable information when prescribing homeopathic remedies. Its best to keep the room temperature constant so that the patient isn’t having to adapt to either heat or cold.
Suppressing the cough routinely with a cough medicine prevents the person from coughing up mucus and if mucus is not expelled a more serious infection may develop.
You can use homeopathic first aid prescribing for coughs (First Aid Kit will have many of the remedies for coughs – https://sineadhurley.com/product/homeopathy-kit/) providing you are having a good response and the energy and mood of the patient is remaining high. If the cough seems severe and doesn’t respond to self-prescribing within 48 hours it’s time to seek professional help.