What are Colds and Coughs?
Cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans and it is body’s reaction towards the viral infections of upper respiratory tract. The various symptoms of a cold are sneezing, nasal discharge, stuffy nose, watery eyes, and fever. Through these symptoms the body throws out the infecting viruses. During cold, cough occur when body fight with virus infecting lower airways including throat and bronchi.
People use several things to cure cold such as nasal sprays, cold capsules and other suppressive medications but all these are temporary relief from cold. Instead of curing a cold – let a cold cure you. People should support the body’s efforts by taking homeopathy medicines which is safe and easy to take.
Cold is mostly accompanied by coughs. A cough is an evidence for viral and bacterial infection. However due to similar symptom it is difficult to identify if infection is due to virus or bacteria and pathological examination like culture is required for confirmation. Most of cough and cold is usually viral, but recurring fever can be symptom of bacterial infection.
Note: - Avoid taking antibiotics in case of cough and cold which are generally caused by viruses and antibiotic has no role to play. If symptom last for more than week with recurring fever, pain around face and eye with thick yellow cough, it may be sign of bacterial infection and that need to be checked with good physician. Antibiotics are used to treat bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, ear infection, and pinkeye if caused by bacteria. Misuse of antibiotics will create new strains resistant to some types of antibiotics creating problem to next generation.
Common form of Cough & Cold
1) Croup – Croup is inflammation of the windpipe and larynx (voice box), caused by viral infection. Croup is most common in children around three months to three years. As croup causes sudden, complete obstruction of breathing, so it needs medical emergency. Most common symptoms are dry harsh cough, the child is often hoarse and may get laboured breathing.
2) Laryngitis – Inflammation of the larynx and upper- chest airways that accompanies viral infection. The most common symptoms are hoarseness, loss of voice, and throat pain i.e. pain with swallowing. Laryngitis is almost similar with Croup with only difference that there are no breating difficulties in Laryngitis.
Homeopathy Medicine to treat Laryngitis and Croup
Aconite and Spongia are very useful in the beginning of infection in children with fever, chilliness, dry skin and hoarseness. Give Spongia when Aconite fails to respond in 12 hour.
Causticum is useful in symptom when there is constant desire to clear throat by dislodging mucus deep in the chest.
Hepar sulphur is useful when infection is due to exposure to dry, cold winds and there is a croupy cough and hoarseness. It is indicated in later stage of cold.
Other helpful medicines are Kali Muriaticum, Arum triphyllum, Bromine etc.
3) Bronchitis – Inflammation of the bronchi, the larger breathing tubes that lead from the trachea to the lungs. Bronchitis is caused due to the bacterial and viral infections. Due to infection, membrane swells and grows thicker which make airways narrow resulting in coughing spells accompanied by phlegm (Sputum) and breathlessness. White and grey phlegm is sign of upper respiratory tract infection or sinus congestion while yellow phlegm may be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, sinus infection, or lower respiratory tract infection. Acute bronchitis last from one to three weeks and chronic thereafter and need specialize treatment with good doctor. Common symtom include cough, production of mucus (sputum), shortness of breath, slight fever and chills, chest discomfort.
Homeopathy Medicine to treat Bronchitis
Aconite is useful in early stage of infection due to exposure to cold, cold winds with symptom of frequent sneezing, chilliness, restless sleep, hard pulse, watery runny nose accompanied by headache, dry cough (a cough not accompanied by phlegm production) or expectoration of little watery mucus.
Belladonna is also indicated in early stage of infection with symptom of high fever, leaping pulse and pain when coughing.
Hepar Sulph is useful when patient is very sensitive to cold and cough formed immediately after to exposure to cold. Recommended in later stage of cold when symptom started with watery nose and now become thick yellow.
Antim Tart is one of the best homeopathic medicines for Bronchitis with symptom of rattling of mucous in chest and patient finds it quite difficult to bring up the mucous and difficulty in breathing. This medicine is valuable in treating old patients and infants.
Pulsatilla is indicated when mucus has become thick and yellow-green. Nose tends to run in open air while become stuffed in warm room. The patient is usually thirst less and feels better in open air.
Arsenic Album is in symptom of weakness, restlessness, feels thirsty and cough increases after mid night, nose run freely but it feels stopped up.
4) Pneumonia – Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung. The various symptoms of Pneumonia include bad cough, fever, chest pain, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea and shortness of breath. Bacterial organism such as the streptococcus causes Broncho-Pneumonia which creates inflammation in bronchi and the alveoli of the lungs. Untreated pneumonia is lead to serious complications like meningitis and abscess of the brain.
Homeopathy Medicine to treat Pneumonia
Coryllus Avelana is anti-fibrotic and tones lung tissue. It is an effective remedy in the treatment of chronic pneumonia, respiratory disorders and pulmonary fibrosis.
Antimonium tartaricum is indicated when the person has rattling cough and chest is full of mucus and person is unable to cough effectively to clear chest.
Ipecac is valuable in treating old and infant when illness come rapidly spreading simple head cold down in to chest in day or two. Patient troubles getting breath due to chocking and suffocation caused by phlegm.
Spongia is an effective remedy in the treatment of a suffocating night cough which wakes patient due to constriction (inward pressure) of throat. This medicine is useful in early stage of infection.
Other useful medicines are Tuberculinum, Bryonia, Phosphorus Triiodiatus, Baryta Carbonica etc.
5) Whooping Cough is also known as Pertussis or Kukur Khanasi in Hindi. It is infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacteria Bordetella Pertussis and is highly contagious disease. After getting infection it takes week or two for symptom to appear with nasal congestion, fever, and cough. Thick mucus accumulates inside airways causing uncontrolled coughing till no air is left in the lungs which end with whooping sound in next breath of air.
Homeopathy Medicine to treat Whooping Cough
Antimonium Tartaricum is useful in case of suffocating cough, rattling mucous that is difficult to cough up.
Belladonna is useful in symptoms of hard, barking cough, fever, pain in the larynx when coughing. Other symptom are whooping cough with the expectoration of blood, bleeding from the nose, fever with a red face, throbbing arteries, glassy eyes, dilated pupils. It is recommended in early stage of infection.
Kali Bichromicum is indicated in case of choking cough, with expectoration of sticky yellow mucus which can be drawn out into strings. It should be considered in later stage of cold.
Phosphorus is another common medicine for treating people with various type of cough with symptoms like hoarseness, total loss of voice, blood streaked phlegm, chest pain, cough worse due to cold or cold air.
Other useful medicines are Pulsatilla, Sanguinaria, Kali Sulphuricum, Ipecacuanha, Coccus cacti etc.
Traditional and useful tips for cold and cough
Drink plenty of fluids, as liquids works well to treat cough they help in loosening mucus and helps the body to discharge it.
Get plenty of rest. Though bed rest is not mandatory but feel free from Psychological stress, try to take a break from deadlines and responsibilities from work.
It s a good idea to blow your nose and cough phlegm out of the chest. Make children practice this at an early age.
Use a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer. As it works well to liquefy sticky mucus and makes it easier to expel.
Avoid overexposure to extreme cold. Instead of using the energy in adapting to cold stress rather save it for healing the cold.
Have milk along with turmeric powder as it is beneficial in relieving cough.
Note: If you are not medical professional or do not have not have much knowledge of terminology then combination of Aconite, Antim Tart, Coccus cacti, Spongia or combination of Bryonia, Belladonna , Antim Tart, Ipecacuanha in low potency alternatively in interval of ½ hour is recommended. If Symptoms do not improve in week time then it is time to consult your physician. Also in case of persistence fever or something external is inhaled that cannot be coughed out then get professional medical care on priority. It is also worth to follow this topic.