Creating Waves of Awareness
COUGH is more common disease which every homeopath deals with day today some time its difficult to understand and treat it. Lets try to understand it
COUGH | Definition A sudden explosive expiration after deep inspiration and closure of the glottis.
It is one of the physiological mechanisms for the protection of the lower respiratory tract against infection and invasion of foreign bodies. In disease it also has the function of expelling excessive secretions and exudates. Ciliary action of the bronchi also raise a thin sheet of mucus constantly towards the larynx. When it reaches the pharynx it is disposed off into the alimentary canal by un- conscious acts of swallowing. Pathological secretions are also removed in the fashion.
Cough can be produced entirely voluntarily but it can be suppressed less voluntarily.
Cough is produced by inflammatory, mechanical, chemical and thermal stimulation of the cough receptors.
It could be a leading symptom in an acute illness of the respiratory tract or sometimes suggest-ing involvement of some other organ e.g. ear. It is found in chronic illnesses like chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, bronchial asthma, and sometimes in the affections of the heart, pericardium etc.
The causes of cough are so numerous that they are difficult to classify. However, the following is, an attempt to classify the causes.
Causes of cough:
Infections like pleurisy, empyema, hydrothorax, pneumothorax, hydropneumothorax, pleural effusion etc.
Causing pressure symptoms or secondary invasion of infective process
Homeopathy Management Of Cough:
When a patient comes to the physician with cough he must try to make provisional diagnosis based on history and physical examination. This is important for the management as different conditions giving rise to cough differ from each other. Investigations may confirm the diagnosis later on. But, the physician is required to prescribe to relieve the patient. The following points should be noted in connection with cough.
i) Acute or Chronic
Acute – laryngitis, tracheobronchitis, pneumonia, lung abscess,
uvulitis, epiglottitis etc.
Chronic – chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic ob- structive lung
diseases, pulmonary malignancy etc.
ii) Productive or non- productive (dry)
Productive –Brochiectasis, lung-abscess, pulmonary tuberculosis,
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pulmonary
Non- productive – Irritation of the external auditory meatus,
whooping cough, foreign body in the bronchus
(early stage), mediastinal tumours, carcinoma
larynx, neoplasm of bronchus, psychological etc.
N.B. Female patients are inclined to swallow sputum and will not
expectorate as Male patients do. This tendency may lead to
incorrect conclusion in a female patient that cough is irritative
and non- productive.
iii) Onset of Cough
when an upper respiratory tract infection does not respond to the
regular treatment; think of pulmonary tuberculosis and bronchogenic.
Cough appearing for the first time in a middle aged man think of
a) Morning –smoker’s cough, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, early pulmonary tuberculosis etc.
(Alum, ars, bry, calc, chin, euph, kali-a, kali-bi, kali-c, mosch, nux-v, phos, puls, rumx, squil, sulph, etc.)
b) First lying down at night or appearing at some change of posture – Bronchiectasis, lung abscess
(Lying<: Apis, Caust, Con, hyos, kreos, puls, rumx, sang, etc)
(First lying down on < : Ars., dros, con, caps, puls, sabad, etc)
c) Early night – pulmonary tuberculosis
d) When lying down (Balme’s cough) – pharygitis, elongated uvula
e) At the end of dyspnoea - bronchial asthma
(Ant-t, ars, cina, cupr, ip, nux-v, etc.)
f) Wakes the patient up from sleep – Left ventricular failure or cough of cardiac origin
(carb-v, lach, laur, spong, kali-c, naja, etc.)
g) If related to meals – hiatus hernia, trachea-oesophageal fistula, oesophageal diverticulum
(Eating < : kali-bi, nux-v, anac, sep, thuj, carb-v, etc)
v) Character of Cough
(N.B. please listen to the accompanying cough- cassette.)
Barking Cough - Epigiottal involvement, hysteria and nervousness
Brassy Cough - Tracheal involvement, mediastinal tumours,
aneurysm of aorta
Hoarse Cough - Aneurysm of aorta (Aneurysmal cough),
Dog cough or Compression cough- Due to compression of bronchi-
sounds like a dog coughing
Dry hacking cough- Chronic pharyngitis and tracheitis, neurosis
Short suppressed cough- pleurisy, pneumonia
Paroxysmal cough- Whooping cough
Minute-gun cough – (paroxysms close together in
whooping cough), Carcinoma, bronchial spasm
Presence of whoop – Whooping cough
vii) Associated features
e.g. Fainting, COPD
viii) Cough is a distressing symptom and a patient expects fast relief. When a patient consults a physician for the first time, the physician will have to find out the indicated medicine as early as possible. Besides the general symptoms the physician should cover symptoms connected with cough. They may be
a) Character of cough
b) Modalities of cough
c) Associated symptoms or concomitants
The character of cough and concomitants are described hereunder with some important medicines. Most of these remedies are discussed elsewhere in this book under a different heading e.g. pneumonia, pleurisy etc. besides the important medicines which are listed here, there may be other remedies which are not mentioned here. The reader is requested to refer to repertories and books of materia medica if required, to study the other remedies and the modalities.
Character of cough – indication for a remedy
rumx, ther, etc.
spong, stram, brom, etc.
calc, calc-s, carb-an, chin, dros, hyos, ign,
iod, kali-c, lach, mang, nat-a, nat-m, nux-
v, petr, ph-ac, phos, puls, rumx, spong, sulph, tub, etc.
sep, tub, etc.
dros, hep, kali-bi, stann, etc.
hyos, ip, meph, nux-v, puls, rumx, sep,
stann, tarent, verat, etc.
kali-c, merc, nux-v, phos, puls, stann, sulph, etc.
cocc, cor-r, cupr, dros, hyos, I, kali-br,
lach, nux-v, puls, rumx, sep, spong, etc.
hyos, ip, nux-v, samb, sulph, etc.
Three coughs in succession Carb-v, cupr, etc.
Coughed in a
cupr, dros, hep, hyos, ign, ip, kali-c, lach,
mez, ph-ac, phos, puls, sep, squil, stann, etc.
Choking at the bifurcation of
bronchi and great mental
Cough with concomitants
meph, stram, etc.
keros, podo, rhus-t, etc.
In summer Staph
After variola Calc.
Crawling up in throat Zinc.
(Loeffler’s syndrome) Mag-s.
before cough Asar
Depression, with cough Mag-arct, psor.
puls, stict, etc.
(which is during menses) Atro-s, Tep.
eruptions appear Tep.
Lower chest Kreos.
rumx, sep, squil, verat, etc.
(Loeffler’s Syndrome) Cina, dol, mag-c, spig.
Forward and knees upwards
While coughing Ther.
By vomiting Mez.
1 Phatak material medica and repertory
2 Dr Prakash Vakil text book on respiratory system