By Nicole Maxwell, NMD
Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health. Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets. They have none of the side effects of many traditional medications, are very affordable, are made from natural substances, and are FDA regulated. Great for the home medicine kit!
Generally speaking, coughing is perfectly normal. A cough can help to keep your throat clear from phlegm and other irritants. However, sustained coughing can also be symptomatic of a number of conditions, such as a viral or bacterial infection. Homeopathic medicines are often effective in treating the acute symptoms of coughs, though professional care is usually necessary to achieve a deeper level of cure of chronic respiratory problems.
Below are several remedy choices. A person does not need to have all the symptoms in a remedy profile for it to be the right fit.
Boise Natural Health Clinic and most health food stores carry 6c and 30c potencies. If you have the option, start with 6c.
Acutely ill patients need more frequent repetitions whether the remedy is high or low potency. Don’t be afraid to repeat or change remedies frequently in this situation. “Frequently” means every few minutes in urgent situations and perhaps every 3 to 4 hours in less urgent situations. The frequency should taper off as the patient recovers.
Homeopathic remedies come in small pellets and can be taken in water as well as dry under the tongue. The most common way to take them in water is to simply put a dose into a drinking glass of water. Acutely ill patients may sip or take a teaspoonful as frequently as needed, usually stirred before each dose. The pellets do not need to be completely dissolved first. This is an effective way to give patients relief while also stretching the supply of the remedy.
ACONITUM: These patients wake from sleep with a dry, hoarse, croupy cough, which tends to be worse at night and after midnight. They are apt to develop a cold or cough during dry cold weather. Along with their dry cough, they will have a dry mouth and shortness of breath. They are usually very thirsty. The cough is worse from being cold, drinking cold water, from tobacco smoke, lying on either side, and at night, especially after midnight. This remedy is very commonly given for the initial stages of croup, bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia. These patients are often restless and anxious.
BRYONIA: When a common cold starts with a nasal discharge and then moves down into the chest, Bryonia is often given, especially when the cough is dry and worse by motion or breathing in. It is painful to move and to inspire, so these patients tend to hold their chest as they breathe in order to limit the motion of the chest. The cough is also aggravated by warm rooms and during or after eating. These patients tend to be sensitive to drafts and are always catching cold. They may feel some tickling in the larynx which irritates the cough.
PHOSPHORUS: These patients have a dry hard cough, sometimes with a persistent tickle felt behind the sternum. The cough is aggravated by lying down, especially on the left side, and they are wakened at night and need to sit up to cough. They are also aggravated by talking, moving, going from a warm room to cold air, or from strong odors. To decrease pain from coughing, they usually hold their chest. The tightness in their chest is relieved by the warmth of a bed. They crave ice drinks. Their illness exhausts them, and they sometimes have an empty, all-gone feeling or burning in the chest. Their nasal discharge may have some blood streaked in it, and they may become hoarse. This medicine is commonly given in more serious respiratory conditions like pneumonia.
PULSATILLA: This remedy is related to some characteristic cough symptoms, but it is more commonly prescribed based on a patients’s general characteristics. The cough symptoms are aggravated in a warm room or warm weather, by lying down to sleep, and at night. Walking in the cool air provides some relief. Also, the patient must sit up in bed to breathe better. Typically, she has a dry cough during the day, and a productive cough with yellow or greenish expectoration at night and upon waking. The key general characteristics of Pulsatilla patients are that they are affectionate, moody, weepy, indecisive, and always seek to please others. They crave affection and sympathy and cannot get enough of it.
RUMEX: The most distinctive characteristic of patients who need this remedy is that their cough is extremely sensitive to cold air. They may even place a blanket or towel over their head to avoid breathing cold air. They experience a tickling in the throat and an irritation below the larynx that is aggravated by touching or pressing the pit of the throat. They have a dry cough and usually become hoarse. They are aggravated in the night and by motion and feel better in warmth.
SPONGIA: This remedy is one of the primary medicines for a dry, barking, croupy cough. The air passages are dry, the sputum is absent, and the voice is hoarse. The coughing can be exacerbated by cold air, warm rooms, tobacco smoke, talking, lying with the head low, drinking cold fluids, or eating sweets. Warm food or drinks, even in small doses, provide some relief, as does sitting up and leaning forward. This remedy is considered a second stage croup remedy, after Aconitum and before Hepar and Kali bic.
To get help with selecting the correct remedy for you and additional supportive therapies call Boise Natural Health Clinic to schedule an appointment at 208-338-0405.