Ayurveda is among the oldest forms of medicine practiced globally. The earliest Hindu religious texts called the Vedas describe the preliminary accounts of Ayurveda, written more than 3,000 years ago. Ayurveda promotes the concept of healing and nourishing the body through holistic approaches leaning onto the use of natural products. These approaches include plant-based medicines called herbal derivatives, lifestyle changes, and massages.
The remedies provided by Ayurveda are stated to be reliable and sustainable, since the ancient times. It’s therefore no wonder that Ayurveda talks in detail about one of the most common ailments – cold and cough.
Interestingly, Ayurveda suggests remedies for cough based on the type. Not all types of cough are the same. Before we dive into the remedies, let us understand what causes cough and what are the different types of cough.
Cough is caused by the reflex response of our body, in the process of trying to free the respiratory tract from itchiness caused by allergens, pollutants, phlegm. The continuous action of coughing leads to the inflammation of the respiratory tract as well as the throat further causing respiratory infection.
Ayurveda broadly classified cough into three types –
1. Dry Cough
In the Ayurvedic terms, dry cough is also called Vataj (Wind) cough. This kind of cough could be quite vexing and troublesome for the patient. It could even cause pain and exhaustion. They could be the result of inhaling pollutants, allergens, viral infections, dust, smog, cold air, etc.
2. Cough with Phlegm
The cough with phlegm is also stated to be a productive cough, according to Ayurveda it is called Kaphaj cough. It is a major symptom of having chest congestion. This kind of cough is usually caused by the common cold, flu, or other respiratory infections.
3. Cough caused by pollution
Studies state that inhaling certain kinds of air pollutants eg- acrolein (found in cigarettes), cinnamaldehyde, etc, could aggravate the coughing reflex and cause chronic coughing in humans. These irritants are known to activate the TRPA 1 protein present on the surface of the nerve endings.
Now, as we have understood the types of cough along with their causes. Next, keep reading to learn about the Ayurveda based remedies of the three types of cough discussed above.
1) Ayurvedic Remedies For Dry Cough
- Tulsi Tea
How you prepare and eat your food also determines how well your body benefits from it. In Ayurveda, there’s an emphasis on creating a healthy cooking and eating environment. Since everything is connected, your state of mind while you’re preparing your meals also determines the quality of food. A good meal is the one which is prepared with attention, care, and love. Prepare fresh food for each meal and make sure that the proportions are such that there are no leftovers. Keep the cooking area clean and ensure that you use fresh ingredients only.
Turmeric spice is quite well-known and prominent for the varied health benefits it provides. It is a common ingredient utilized in numerous home remedies across the subcontinent. This ayurvedic cure has found renewed support, especially in recent times as it has been stated to contain mighty therapeutic effects. It even contains anti-inflammatory components that aid in diminishing the inflammation of the throat and throat soreness thereby giving relief from cold and cough.
Honey is mentioned as ‘madhu’ in Ayurvedic texts. It is a common and powerful ingredient usually found in various home remedies around the world for centuries. Honey is an efficient anti-oxidant and is prominently used as a flavoring agent for many Ayurvedic recipes. Honey has been used since traditional times to eliminate dry cough as well.
But did you know that this traditional home remedy is validated by modern clinical research also? Some studies even state honey to provide more notable effects than dextromethorphan- it, an ingredient usually found in cough syrups. Honey also contains anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce the irritation and inflammation of the throat.
To avail the benefits of honey to diminish dry cough, one could add honey as a natural sweetener in warm water or any herbal teas.
- Eucalyptus Steam Inhalation
Eucalyptus is also called as Nilgiri taila in Ayurveda. It is a substantial natural remedy renowned to reduce a dry cough. You would be surprised to know that Eucalyptus oil contains strong and proven therapeutic benefits because of which it is constantly researched upon and is under the scientific radar for deriving noble application in modern sciences!
The oil present in the Eucalyptus can exhibit antimicrobial effects that could provide resistance against infections. It even stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, and works as an analgesic. Reports of studies suggest it to effectively manage conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
To use Eucalyptus to cure dry cough, you could add 2-3 drops of the Eucalyptus oil to one bowl of boiling water or directly into the steam machine. You could even use it to gargle or mouth wash by adding 2 drops of the eucalyptus oil to a glass of warm saline water.
Garlic is an ingredient commonly found in every other household. However, you would be surprised to know that garlic is a super ingredient with many uses other than simple flavoring. It is considered to be amongst the best natural ingredients that could combat heart diseases. But some studies prove the utility of the garlic is possible even for mundane conditions such as dry cough. Garlic contains antiviral, antibacterial, as well as anti-inflammatory components which aid in reducing the cough reflex. Also, garlic has natural immunomodulatory abilities that allow it to strengthen the immune system as well, negating the frequent onset of cold and cough.
To prepare the remedy that could equip one with battling against dry cough by using garlic as an ingredient is quite simple. You just need to add a few cloves of garlic to boiling water whenever preparing any herbal tea. You could even combine it with ginger and honey to enhance its effectiveness.
2) Ayurvedic Remedies For Cough with Phlegm
Following ayurvedic remedies could be noted and undertaken to cure cough that’s present along with phlegm.
- Ginger Tea
Ginger is a herb widely used to prepare ayurvedic compositions. Several recent pieces of research claim that ginger does contain components that are actively involved in strengthening the anti-inflammatory ability of the ingredient. It is also regarded to possess a high amount of anti-oxidative properties. These two benefits work in unison to deal with any illness, one being coughing with phlegm.
A research-based study states that 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, and 6-shogaol are the active ingredients present in ginger that have the capability to slacken the muscles of the throat.
To make the ginger oriented herbal tea add around 30 grams of ginger slices to 1-2 glasses of boiling water and then allow it to steep for 5-6 minutes.
- Thyme and Clove Tea
Thyme is an herb commonly known to be the relative of the Oregano genus Origanum used especially in seasoning cooked food. Its uses include culinary and medicinal purposes. Researchers claim that thyme as well as clove contain anti-oxidative properties. These could assist the human body in warding off upper respiratory infections when used as a tincture or as an essential oil.
To prepare the herbal tea, add a few leaves of thyme and clove to boiling water. Allow it to boil for approximately 10 minutes, next, strain the mixture and serve.
- Using Humidifier and Steam Shower
A humidifier makes it more comfortable to breathe in places with intensive dry air. Particularly at night when the throat dries out under natural conditions, a humidifier could reduce the dryness. As the development of irritation and inflammation is quite commonly visible in an individual with dry throat issues. With the use of a humidifier, the phlegm would also become thinner and could come out of the lungs with more ease.
Also, taking a steamy shower could moisten the upper airways and at the same time, it would also disintegrate the mucus present in the chest. One could take a steam shower for at least 5 minutes and repeat as desired.
- Netti Pot
Netti pot is an ancient method of flushing your sinuses and keeping your nose clear. The simple process clears out the mucus and facilitates breathing. You’ll require the special netti pot to carry out the procedure for yourself. A typical netti pot is designed in a way that it’s easy for you to pour water from it, into your nose. Using a saline solution with the device instead of just water further helps in clearing out the nasal passage.
Did you know that honey has abundant benefits and has ample anti-oxidative components? Natural bee’s honey is also commonly used as an effective remedy to cure wet cough. Through a research study, it is stated that consuming around 1.5 teaspoons of pure honey, 30 minutes before sleeping can reduce the cough reflex in children and stimulate deep and sound sleep. It could work the same even for adults.
Lemon is the usual first-go-to remedy in cases of cough with phlegm. And this remedy works well for all the right reasons. Lemon is rich in Vitamin C which could increase the immunity of the body to fight against the formation of cough. To prepare the remedy one could add 2-3 drops of lemon juice along with 1 teaspoon of honey and mix a few peppermint candies to it. This can be consumed 3-4 times a day to ensure relief from mucus.
Another method to prepare a lemon-based ayurvedic cure for a cough with phlegm is by mixing lemon juice along with honey. Next, add a teaspoon of powdered pepper. Drink this mixture every 2 hours and it could cure you of wet cough in a short duration.
Licorice is a flowering plant coming from the bean family. The root of the Licorice plant is stated to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have stated that this ingredient could assist in reducing sore throat and curing throat pain. To make the remedy mix 0.5 grams of the licorice extract along with water and then gargle for around 30 seconds.
3) Ayurvedic Remedies For Cough Caused by Pollution
Lastly, let us find out about the remedy that could assist in reducing the cough caused by pollution.
- Giloy Juice
Giloy is an herb utilized in Ayurvedic tonic preparations. It is found in the tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent. The juice of Giloy is stated to build up the immunity of an individual considerably. It works as an anti-allergic ingredient and could thereby treat a cough with the origin of an allergic response to smoke, pollution, or pollen. To prepare the mixture add two table-spoon of the juice of Giloy to water and consume it on a daily basis in the morning until relief is experienced.These remedies could give you relief from cold and cough, however, it is recommended to consult with your physician if the symptoms persist or worsen.