Cough (Tussis)


What is Cough?

Cough occurs when someone voluntarily or involuntarily tries to clear the throat and the breathing passage from mucus, microbes, fluids, or any other foreign particles. This is done through a rapid explosion of air from the lungs. The act of clearing the throat by coughing is done primarily in three phases. Inhalation means breathing the air in, then straining the lungs and throat with the vocal cords closed, and then an explosive release of air by opening the vocal cords.

What are the Symptoms of Cough?

The symptoms of coughing are apparent. You know when you have a cough and that is quite straightforward. However, the severity of cough can be determined by the following symptoms that you may experience in conjunction with coughing.

While you have a cough you may also suffer from a runny or stuffy nose. You may also feel that there is liquid running down the back of your throat. You may experience gruffness or huskiness due to injury in your throat from severe or persistent coughing. Apart from these symptoms, you may also encounter other symptoms such as heartburn, sour taste in the mouth, shortness of breath, etc. In some serious cases, you may even cough blood.

What are the Causes of Cough?

Various factors may trigger coughing. You cough when there is an excess amount of pitta or Kapha in the bronchial tree which makes the bronchial mucous membrane congested and irritated. So let us understand what are the key factors which cause coughing.

One of the major factors is viruses and bacteria which causes a respiratory tract infection and that triggers coughing. Smoking is also one of the common factors for coughing as it harms the lungs. Some medicines can cause coughing but this is a very rare scenario.

When to see a Doctor?

Persistent coughing may indicate other serious ailments. So, if you are coughing for more than a week then visit a doctor. There are several other instances where you may need a sooner treatment, such as people with asthma or COPD. For the kids, there is a different picture. They are more susceptible to viruses and bacteria, especially during the winter and spring season. So coughing is very natural for them and may not be severe until it persists for more than 3 weeks or is accompanied by a fever above 102°F (38.89°C). Also if they face any difficulty swallowing food or have pain then see a doctor.

Lifestyle Prevention of Cough

  • Prevention of cough depends on the cause and the severity. The chronic cough can be prevented by changing diet. Opting for a healthy diet full of fruits, fiber and flavonoids does help in avoiding this type of chronic respiratory symptom.
  • Quitting smoking is also a very important factor to stop chronic cough. A smoker’s cough is very difficult to cure so quit smoking to dispose of coughing.
  • Avoid interacting with people who have a contagious illness caused by bacteria or virus to prevent contracting the illness.

Common Ayurvedic Remedies for Cough

Curative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Preventative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Not Known
Avi Kumar

Avi is an irreverent hard-core Engineer turned Marketer, who is focused on unveiling the secrets of Ayurveda, scientifically. His aim is to research Ayurveda, take what works, discard what's superseded by new discoveries, and in all increase in human knowledge.

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