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Chronic Cough

The following information is for educational purpose only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalised recommendations.

  • Do you have wheezing and shortness of breath?
  • Are you coughing up blood?
  • Do you have a cough with heartburn or sour taste in your mouth?



What is Chronic Cough?

Types of Cough

It effectively clears mucous or foreign material from the respiratory tract and is called effective and wet cough, this type is often caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.

It is dry and does not produce sputum caused by dry irritation, dust, smoke, or fumes or due to edema and mild secretion in the resolving stage of illness.

This type of cough is soundless due to paralysis of the larynx.

Rare type of cough as an outcome of the self-conscious activity of the patient to draw attention.

Causes of Chronic Cough

  • Postnasal drip: Nose secretions flow back into the throat can irritate the throat and trigger a cough. Postnasal drip can develop in people with allergies, colds, rhinitis, and sinusitis.
  • Asthma: Wheezing or feeling shortness of breath is the main symptom of cough variant asthma due to narrowing of the windpipe.
  • Acid reflux: When acid from the stomach flows back (refluxes) into the tube connecting the stomach and the throat have heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth.
  • Respiratory tract infection: Bacterial tracheobronchitis or sinusitis can develop following a viral upper respiratory tract infection that produces thick, colored mucus sputum.
  • Blood pressure-lowering drugs: Medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can cause a chronic cough.
  • Chronic bronchitis: In this case the airways are irritated, causing cough, sometimes raising phlegm. Mostly current or past smokers are affected.

Diagnosis of Chronic Cough?

Following are the tests being implemented for the diagnosis of chronic cough in a patient:

  • Lung imaging: Cigarette smoker or other medical conditions that can affect the lung, a chest X-ray or even a chest CT scan may be done.
  • Lung function tests: A lung function test that measures the pattern of airflow into and out of the lungs is usually done to confirm symptoms of asthma.
  • Acid reflux testing: A test may be done to measure the acid level of fluid in the esophagus. This test is called a pH probe. In some people, a test called upper endoscopy will be done to look for irritation of the esophagus.

Ayurvedic perspective of cough

Kasa (cough) and Swasa (dyspnoea or difficulty breathing) are the two challenges that are dealt with in Ayurveda in respiratory diseases. It is mainly five types Vata, pitta, KaKatjaataja, and kaya, out of which Vata, pitta, and Kapha nature represent different doshic manifestations of a cough. Katja types are due to chest injuries, while kaya type is due to a disease that results in wasting of the body tissues such as tuberculosis.

Ayurvedic remedies for cough

  • Acorus calamus (Sweet flag): Used for its effects on the digestive system and the lungs. This herb eliminates phlegm, clears congestion, and tranquilizes the mind.
  • Adhatodavasica Medic (Malabar Nut): A cough suppressant, antitussive activity against coughing induced by irritants.
  • Allium sativum (Garlic): Preventing wound infections, common cold, malaria, cough, lung tuberculosis; it prevents common cold and flu symptoms through enhancement of the immune system.
  • Carumcopticum (Ajwain): Use to enhance the immune system to ward off cold, flu, and other viral infections. Also effective in asthma.
  • Astragalusmembranaceus (Astragalus): It decreased mucus secretion, inflammation, and collagen deposition in the lung tissuessuppressed the frequency of cough.
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender): Oil is beneficial for problems such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, laryngitis, throat infections, and whooping cough. The vapors of steamed flowers are inhaled as a cold remedy.
  • Zingiber Officinale (Ginger): Use in Ayurveda to alleviate many illnesses including indigestion, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, cough, common colds, fever, allergic rhinitis, respiratory troubles, pain, headache, backache, painful tooth, and swelling gum.
  • Inhalation therapy: Volatile antiseptic expectorants derived from conifers are often used as inhalants, which include dwarf pine needle or Scotch pine needle oils and cedar leaf oil.
  • Topical treatments: Applied topically to the chest, neck, and upper back and covered with a flannel binder, the combination of eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, and camphor act as counterirritants in a dry chest pack to relieve pulmonary congestion.


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