Cough, cough... herbs to ease a troublesome cough

Dr. Jen Tan

24 September 2013

Why do we cough?

Your body has many ways of defending you from the bugs that cause the common cold. One defence mechanism is the production of mucus, a sticky, slimy substance that entraps viruses and bacteria in its slippery layers.

The body may try to expel mucus from the respiratory tract by coughing. This is fine if the cough is moderate and productive, but not so great if the cough doesn’t result in the expulsion of catarrh, and continues unabated for ages. Lingering coughs can last for up to three months after a common cold, according to Professor Eccles, Director of the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff.

What herbs can help a cough?

Spasms of coughing rack the chest and prevent sleep both for the sufferer and those around them. Herbs that promote the thinning of mucus and its journey up and out of the respiratory tract are therefore very helpful in these circumstances, as Alfred Vogel well knew.

Fresh spruce shoots contain a volatile oil that is rich in terpenes, which have antiseptic, mucolytic (making mucus more liquid and therefore easier to move) and antibacterial properties. They promote the removal of catarrhal congestion from the lungs. Vogel recommended that walkers look out for fresh pine shoots and chew them as they rambled. For those of us not out on the pine-covered hills, it might be easier to find them in Bronchosan Cough Syrup.

Other herbs that frequently prove handy for those feeling chesty are Ivy and Thyme. Taken together these two herbs thin the mucus to make it easier to expel, and also ease the spasms in the bronchial tubes. This reduces the amount of coughing the sufferer experiences, but the remaining coughs are productive in that they get the clogging catarrh up and out. The result is a swifter end to the cough and a return to peaceful nights and painless throats.

Not sure what type of cough you have? Read my article on the topic, and find some handy remedies for each type.

No Comments

Add your comments

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Check input OK
Check input OK


Bronchosan - Pine Cough Syrup for dry, tickly, irritating throat coughs


£ 8.99

find your local stockist

Extract of fresh spruce (pine) shoots and honey. For dry, tickly and irritating coughs.
More info

What's being asked

Can back pain be due to dry cough?

Yes, back pain can be related to repeated bouts of coughing (resulting from both dry and chesty ...
Read more >

How can I get rid of my chesty cough?

This depends on the cause of your chesty cough of which there are many. I assume that you are ...
Read more >

Persistent coughing at night. What could be causing it?

There are a number of possibilities to consider. These might include:   1. An infection ...
Read more >

Is your cough a symptom of cold or flu?

Our quick quiz helps you figure out if your symptoms point towards a cold or flu.

Check your symptoms

Here’s what I recommend

As the A. Vogel Immune System expert, I recommend Bronchosan Pine Cough Syrup to help ease the symptoms of coughs.

Learn more

Did you know?

A tickly cough is technically termed as ‘non-productive.’ This is because, unlike a chesty cough, tickly or dry coughs typically bring up little to no phlegm.

What type of cough do you have?

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Tired of not sleeping? Get your 6-day personalised sleep program