Herbs For Persistent Cough
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Rachael
Posted on: November 1, 2001

I am a 14 year old girl and I belive strongly in the use of herbs. I take Vitamin C,E,D,& A every day. Lately I have not been feeling well, I have been coughing a lot, I have up’ed my dose of C and tempoarily cut out the others and added Olive Leaf Extract, and Beta Glucans to my daily vitamins. But this has not seemed to help. Is there something I can take to help ease my coughing and help me to get well?

A persistent cough may be caused by an infection, allergies, inhaled irritants or lung congestion due to disease. You should consult a medical practitioner to rule out disease.

In infection, Echinacea supports the immune system.

A cough that produces a lot of mucus may be caused by an allergy or an excess of mucus in the diet. Dairy is a common allergen and is mucous forming. You can try eliminating all dairy products from your diet. In checking for dairy as an allergy, you must check all products to ensure that they do not contain lactose or whey. Even a tiny bit will trigger the allergy.

A dry cough may indicate irritation. Here you want soothing herbs and antispasmodic herbs to relax the cough reflux. In most cases, though, you do not want to stop the cough. The cough is an important reflex to expel irritating mucous congestion. Herbal expectorants help to expel stuck mucus.

Licorice root is soothing, expectorant and supports the immune system.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a soothing, expectorant and relaxing antispasmodic.

You can make a tea of dry herbs by mixing 1/4 teaspoon licorice powder to 1 teaspoon dry Mullein leaf. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sip on three cups throughout the day. Alternatively, you can purchase a herbal cough syrup from a health food store. Ask experienced staff for a good brand.

A steam inhalation helps to get the benefit of the herbs directly to the respiratory system. Fill a bowl with boiling water, add a few drops of an essential oil such as Eucalyptus or Thyme, put a towel over your head and the bowl, and breath the fumes until the water cools. Alternately, you can make a tea of fresh or dried herbs such as Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), (antiseptic, antibiotic, and expectorant) or Hyssop hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) (soothing, antispasmodic and expectorant) and similarly inhale the fumes. The inhalation can be done three to four times a day, as well as taking the herbal mixture.

Garlic honey is an old treatment for infections. Garlic is antibiotic and honey is antiseptic. Together they make strengthening and restoring treatment for coughs. Garlic leaves the body by being exhaled via the lungs. The lungs are disinfected during this process and the scent of garlic on the breath is proof of its efficiency.

* 2 whole heads of garlic

* 450 grams/1 lb honey

Crush the peeled garlic cloves in a garlic press. Pound the crushed garlic in a mortar and pestle until they become partially transparent. Add 2 tablespoons honey to the garlic, continuing to pound until the garlic is totally transparent. Add the remaining honey and mix well. Pour the honyey into a bottle. Label it with name, date and dose. Dose: tsp 3 - 6 times daily

Drink plenty of water to keep the airways moist.

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