Though coughs can strike any time of year, during colder weather, when adults and children spend more time in close contact indoors, they seem to strike with much greater frequency.
And they can come in many forms… dry, wet, hacking, spasmodic, wheezing and more.
With restrictions on over-the-counter options, it’s good to know that there is a safe, gentle, and effective natural option —homeopathy!
Below you will find a list of remedies often called for when a coughing bug strikes. Carefully read about each remedy and try to find one that seems to best describe your cough.
Bryonia: A person needing this homeopathic remedy (made from a plant) tends to have a dry, hard, racking cough with very little expectoration. They are worse from a warm room, from motion and from breathing deeply and better when lying perfectly still. They also tend to have dry lips and mouth and are very thirsty for large quantities of fluid at long intervals.
Causticum: Those needing this homeopathic remedy (made from mineral sources) often experience a dry, often exhausting cough with very difficult expectoration… In fact, the mucous that can be brought up is so thick and sticky that it cannot be brought all the way up and must be swallowed. There is also frequently a bit of hoarseness with a raw, sore feeling in the throat. The patient is worse bending forward, stooping, in cold air and when becoming warm in bed and better from drinking cold water. There may also be involuntary urination with the cough.
Drosera: A person needing this homeopathic remedy (made from a marsh plant) often has a deep, spasmodic, whooping, choking, barking cough with fits coming in quick succession. The cough is caused by a tickling feeling in the throat and is often worse from talking, drinking and at midnight or later. There may also be hoarseness.
Hepar Sulphur: Someone needing this homeopathic remedy (another mineral remedy) will have a loose or barking cough with wheezing and rattling – but difficult expectoration. The cough will often sound wet in the morning and dry later in the day. This patient is worse from the least cold air (even uncovering) and before midnight and better from heat and warm moist air. This cough can literally sound as if it is suffocating.
Kali carb.: Those needing this homeopathic remedy (another mineral remedy) of experience a dry, violent, racking cough with wheezing and gagging. The mucous coughed up is often sticky and can fly from the mouth when coughing. The cough is worse from 2:00AM-5:00AM (particularly 3:00AM), breathing deeply and becoming cold – and may be accompanied with stitching pain from the chest to the back. The person feels better sitting up and leaning forward.
Phosphorus: A person needing this homeopathic remedy (another mineral remedy) often has a tight, exhausting, croupy cough. The patient will often crave cold drinks. They are worse talking, reading out loud, laughing, and eating, in cold air, walking from warm air to cold, during a chill, lying on the left side and back, evening until midnight and after rising in the morning. They are better sitting up.
Pulsatilla: Someone needing this homeopathic remedy (made from a flowering plant) will tend to have a loose cough with thick, bland, yellow-green expectoration that is worse in the morning. The person is thirstless, weepy and clingy. They are worse in a warm room, getting warm in bed, lying down, in the evening and after exerting themselves and better sitting up, and in cold or open air.
Rumex: A patient needing this homeopathic remedy (made from a plant) will have a seemingly continuous dry cough, especially after waking. The cough may prevent sleep and seems to be caused by a tickling feeling in the pit of the throat. In fact, pressure on the throat pit may stimulate the cough. The person is worse talking, going from warm air to cold, becoming cold, at 11:00PM and when breathing in cold air.
Spongia: Someone needing this homeopathic remedy (made from a saltwater sponge) will experience a barking, rasping, dry cough which is croupy in nature. It will sound like a saw being driven through a wooden board. The person needing the remedy may wake from sleep with a sense of suffocation and anxiety. They are worse from a cold dry wind, lying with the head low, before midnight, talking or singing and feel better eating and drinking warm things.
How to dose:
Dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start by placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your illness as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
About Dr. Lisa Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as remotely using Skype.