There are two types of coughs – a mucus or productive cough, or a dry cough.
A productive cough gets its name because of the cough brings up mucus. It is also called a chesty cough. The most common cause will be infection (viral or bacterial) most often associated with a cold or the flu.
The remedy we would recommend for this contains a combination of Ivy and thyme.
There are, of course, other causes of a chesty cough and if the cause is uncertain, you should seek the advice of your doctor.
A dry cough is sometimes also called a non-productive cough or a tickly cough (if relatively mild). There are a number of causes:
1. Viral infections such as those causing the cold or flu are perhaps the most common factor. These usually resolve quickly, but some coughs can be persistent. To help with the fundamental problem of the infection, we would recommend Echinacea
2. Allergies to airborne particles and pollutants can also give rise to a tickly cough. In the spring, this can be manifested as hayfever, but during this time of year, it will be more likely that the allergy is to house dust or animal fur. If this is the case, we would recommend the anti-allergy medicine Pollinosan
3. Regurgitation from the respiratory system can lead to tickly coughs. What seems to happen is that the acid contents of the stomach travel back upwards to the back of your throat, leading to irritation and hence the cough. For this, we would recommend the use of a mixture of herbs called herbal bitters.
If you find that you cough continues to persist despite your attempts at treating it, you should seek the advice of your doctor. In addition, see your doctor if you are coughing up blood, feel short of breath or experience chest pain.