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This is a reflex action that the throat does to rid itself of any built up mucus or phlegm.

What to look for

Coughing is not a disease, but it may display respiratory problems. Your doctor can pinpoint the underlying problem by looking at what is coughed up (mucus, phlegm or blood - the colour and consistency), If your coughing is frequent or whether there is any pain involved.

If the membranes lining the respiratory tract causes excessive mucus or phlegm that is when you cough. These discharges helps you to protect your airways from infections and irritants. Coughing is the way your throat gets rid of this accumulation. when your Cough it prevents the breathing passages from closing up and also prevents infected mucus from falling into your lungs and bronchial tubes which can be very dangerous. Though coughs have many different forms, they may be categorized according to two characteristics (duration and productivity). Duration this refers to how long the person needs to cough. A normal cough can come and go promptly, but when you cough up something that is in your throat this can last for several days if you have a cold; or it can also be persistent and chronic, as when you have chronic bronchitis. productive is the cough that produces mucus or phlegm. if there is white of clear phlegm this is quiet common. yellow thick phlegm usually indicates the onset of infection. A dry cough is a non-productive cough.


If the is any thing obstructs the windpipe or breathing passages this can causes a cough. One of the most common causes of a cough is the common cold, flu and sinusitis. The mucus inside the breathing passages causes the cough. When you accidentally inhale medium objects, such as pieces of food or breath in dust, cigarette smoke and fumes can also trigger a cough. If not treated coughs can cause irritations to the airways themselves Drugs can cause coughing fits along with smoking. Smoking is a main cause of coughing and people that quite smoking brings up thick phlegm when they cough. This is very dangerous and normally indicated that they are in the first stages of chronic bronchitis, emphysema, tuberculosis or lung cancer.

.Most chronic lung diseases are incurable but most are treatable, although coughing may be a symptom.

Dietary Considerations

You should drink more liquids as it helps to loosen up the mucus and make’s coughing it up easier. Warm liquids (such as herbal teas), or filtered water, are best for this purpose. Try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages. To help speed up your recovery you should drink a lot of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. You may also be recommended vitamin C supplements, zinc, garlic, horseradish, golden seal, magnesium, potassium, chloride and sustaining a well balanced diet.

Personal Care

By drinking plenty of liquids, this includes herbal teas, and you may find relief by rubbing your throat and chest with essential oil of eucalyptus or myrrh. A simple rub might help you breathe more easily, cough less, and get a good night's sleep. By raising the head of your bed a few inches might help to reduce persistent night coughing and Help you sleep better.

You must try to avoid peppermint and caffeine.

When to seek further professional advice

If your cough lasts for more than 7 to 10 days And if your cough produces yellow, green, pink, or rust colored sputum. your cough is severe, enduring, and accompanied by any of the following signs: hoarseness, sore throat, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pains or tightness, a temperature, headache, back and leg aches, fatigue, rashes, or weight loss. You should see your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

The following therapies may ease the discomfort of some respiratory infections but they do not treat the infection itself they can only offer relief. 
Chinese Herbs : Sang ju yin, a decoction of mulberry leaf (Folium mori albae) and chrysanthemum (Flos chrysanthemi morifolii), is a ancient cough treatment. It contains a number of other ingredients as well. And is available in prepared form. 
Herbal Therapies : Try a herbal cough mixture - available from our pharmacy.

Homoeopathy : recommends different remedies for different stages of coughs. if you are often thirsty and have painful bouts of dry coughs that intensifie’s easily you should try Bryonia. Take Antimonium tartaricum if your cough is accompanied by croaking and you have difficulty in breathing, and considerable rattling in the chest then you lie down you get violent coughing fits and your throat tickles try Drosera.

Try taking Rumex crispus if a draft of cool air provokes a tickling cough; Try Aconite if you happen to get chilled and develop a fever and a barking cough.

Traditional Treatment

Runny nose, sore throat and sneezing is a typical ‘cold-like symptom’ and having a cough is not dangerous if it’s present with a cold. These symptoms are simply a case of common flu. Since coughing, especially a phlegm cough is a defensive response by the body, suppressing a cough with cough medicine does not only relieves the clearing action but this may serve to cover up a more serious underlying problem .if your cough goes on longer then 7 - 10 day you should see your doctor the best remedy for a cold or a viral infection is bed rest and cold relieving remedies. Antibiotics are not normally prescribed. If you have underlying bacterial infection antibiotics might be prescribed. An expectorant may help to clear your lungs if your cold of flu produces thick and sticky sputum.

Over the counter remedies like cough lollies, suppressants and soother can help to treat a non-productive cough. There are over the counter products that contains ingredients that will slightly numb your irritated throat and may also provide temporary relief.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.


Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-19