PAINFUL, HACKING COUGH
This is a constant cough, that is particularly bad in the morning. It tends to bring up thick yellowy/grey or green/rust-coloured mucus. There might also be pain behind the breast bone, a sore throat, wheezing and a blocked nose.
The likely cause is acute bronchitis, an infection of the large airways of the lungs (bronchi), which causes them to become irritated and inflamed. This often starts after a respiratory infection, such as a cold.
Acute bronchitis itself is usually caused by a virus — but around 5 to 10 percent of cases are triggered by bacteria; in bacterial infections, the phlegm will be green or rust-colored.
Bed rest and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration and to thin the mucus, making it easier to cough up. Over-the–counter products will not speed up your recovery and often contain harmful ingredients that will further suppress the immune system.
Salt water gargle is an effective way of treating a dry hacking cough. Add a bit of salt to lukewarm water and gargle with it. A salt gargle helps loosen up the mucus, and salt also contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
The combination of honey with turmeric powder is a good remedy for a hacking cough. Honey and lemon juice and honey and onion juice are also excellent cough remedies.
Ginger combines with the healing property of honey and results in an excellent home remedy for a hacking cough. Chewing fresh ginger slices is another handy way to cure a hacking cough.
Marshmallow root, lobelia, mullein, and wild cherry bark are some of the herbs that soothe the throat and ease the dry cough. Herbal tea made from slippery elm helps to suppress dry cough as it provides soothing effect to the throat. Yerba Santa, lemon grass, cinnamon, orange, and lemon essential oil are other beneficial herbs and essential oils for a hacking cough.
- THROAT–CLEARING COUGH
It feels like you have a lump in your throat and coughing leaves you with a nasty, bitter taste in the mouth. The cough can be triggered by talking, laughing, singing or eating particularly dry food. It also tends to occur at night.
The most likely cause is stomach acid reflux — this affects about 25 percent of the adult Western population. As the lining of the esophagus is extremely soft and sensitive, this leads to inflammation, which triggers a coughing fit.
Reflux can lead to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus — this causes abnormalities in the cells and raises the risk of oesophageal cancer.
Try a teaspoon of baking soda in a half cup water which is very effective (although not very tasty). 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar daily also works well. It’s great mixed with honey in tea or instead of lemon in tea. Eat a Red Delicious apple after problematic meals. Supplement with Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic strain specifically for the small intestine. Take the herbal supplement slippery elm in capsule, powder or lozenge form, as it soothes the irritated tissues of the digestive tract. A tablespoon of Manuka honey on any empty is also very effective.
DRY COUGH WITH WHEEZE
You tend to cough more during the night or first thing in the morning.
One likely culprit is asthma. ‘Ten percent of asthma sufferers don’t realize they have it,’ says Dr Keith Prowse, of the British Lung Foundation. When someone with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, the muscles around the airways tighten.
An asthma cough can be triggered by a cold, exposure to certain foods or irritants, such as pollen. It is not known why the cough is worse at night or in the morning.
You should have your doctor confirm a diagnosis of asthma, however you’re best to avoid first line of treatment involving inhalers which degrade lung function in the long-term. Eliminate milk and milk products, substituting other calcium sources. Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, all partially hydrogenated oils that might contain trans-fatty acids, all foods that might contain trans-fatty acids (such as deep-fried foods). Always drink plenty of water to keep your respiratory tract secretions more fluid. Experiment with eliminating (one at a time) wheat, corn, soy and sugar for six to eight weeks to see if the condition improves. Eat ginger and turmeric regularly for their anti-inflammatory effects. Minimize contact with respiratory irritants, such as smoke, dust, molds, and volatile chemicals. Remove sources of offending materials from your home, install a good air filtration system, or consider moving if the air is generally bad where you live. Lobelia inflata, Antimonium tartaricum and Sambucus nigra are excellent homeopathic remedies for asthma.
BREATHLESS, PAINFUL COUGH
A persistent cough accompanied by shortness of breath.
Other symptoms might include coughing up blood, loss of appetite, losing weight and a dull ache or sharp pain in the lung area when you cough or take a deep breath. This cough is unrelenting and happens most of the time.
One possibility is lung cancer. ‘The problem is that it is possible to mistake these -symptoms for a chest infection,’ explains Dr Jesme Fox, medical director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
‘The difference is that the cough persists for weeks, with little sign of getting better.
Lung cancer is quite rare, but it’s vital you don’t ignore these symptoms and get checked out by your doctor.
This depends on the type of lung cancer though often I don’t recommend surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy for any cancer. Stick to fresh uncooked fruits, vegetables, and nuts (no peanuts allowed). Avoid animal protein, including dairy products, that produce a heavy drain on pancreatic enzymes required for effective use of vitamins. Uncooked vegetables should comprise 75 percent of the diet because critical enzymes involved in healing cancer are destroyed at high temperatures. In addition, no sugar, preserves, strong spices, stimulants as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes; no soy products. Glycrrhizins and flavonoids can even help prevent lung cancer cells from forming. A diet that incorporates a daily dose of pistachios may help reduce the risk of lung and other cancers, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference.