Because so many remedies cover coughing.
Just about every remedy in the homeopathic Materia Medica includes a section on Lungs, which typically includes coughs.
We now have 10,000 identified homeopathic remedies.
However, most homeopaths typically use just a few hundred remedies in their practice.
Out of these only a few dozen are routinely used for coughs.
Still, choosing the right remedy can be difficult.
Because you have to go by the sound of the cough.
Is it a barking cough?
Does it sound like a seal?
Is it a resonant cough?
Does it sound metallic?
Or does it sound rapid fire staccato?
Plus there’s the type of cough.
Is it paroxymal? Is it one paroxysm or two?
Or three paroxysms.
Is the cough persistent?
Does it cause choking and gagging?
Does it only happen at night, the minute the head hits the pillow?
Is the cough dry?
Or is it productive?
Perhaps it’s a combination of dry and wet.
Are there any associated symptoms?
Homeopaths call these “concomitants.”
Concomitants can often lead you to the right remedy?
Also important is how the patient is acting.
Is the child clingy?
Or is he in a terrible mood and doesn’t want anyone around.
Is there any pain with the cough?
Or breathing difficulties?
What color is the sputum?
Or does the person have a hard time raising phlegm?
Is there rattling in the chest?
What color is the person’s tongue?
All of these questions are more should be addressed when taking an acute case.
So you’re probably interested in finding a matching remedy for a cough.
Below are some of the most common remedies used for acute coughs.
Chronic coughs are long-standing and may not arise from an upper respiratory illness. These may need a different set of remedies, along with professional help.
Best Homeopathic Remedies For sCoughs
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- Aconite – Consider this for a cough that comes on suddenly after exposure to a cold, dry wind. This remedy is also part of a trio of remedies (along with Hepar Sulph and Spongia) used to treat croup. Aconite is generally the first remedy you give in this trio. Aconite coughs are dry, hacking, short and worse at night. Children who need this remedy may grasp at their throat when they cough.
- Spongia – This is part of the croup trio. But it can also be given for other kinds of coughs, as long as the symptoms fit. Spongia comes from the ocean. It’s made from roasted sea sponge. So think of this remedy when the cough is barky like a seal, another sea creature. Spongia coughs are very dry. (Like a sponge sucking up all the moisture.) This is the second remedy given in the croup trio, after the cough has progressed beyond the Aconite state. People who need Spongia are typically worse BEFORE midnight. Other remedies such as Hepar Sulph are worse AFTER midnight. The Spongia state can be one of anxiety, with a fear of death. (Similar to Arsenicum and Phosphorus.) A Spongia cough may improve after eating or drinking something warm.
- Hepar Sulphuricum – This is third in the trio of croup remedies. It’s typically given after Aconite and Spongia. Hepar Sulph coughs are loose, with a lot of thick yellow mucus. A Hepar cough may also be dry and the person may be hoarse. People who need Hepar may lose their voice after exposure to a cold, dry wind. Walking makes the cough worse, as does cold drinks or air. The cough is worse if the person is uncovered. You may notice extreme irritability.
- Bryonia – There’s an old saying in homeopathy: “Bry is dry.” People who need this remedy may feel dehydrated. Their cough is dry. Their lips and mouth are dry. They are very thirsty. Bryonia is worse with movement. So breathing or coughing may be painful. The patient may take shallow breaths and may hold his chest while coughing. People who need this remedy often want to be left alone. They may also have a headache and constipation.
- Kali Carbonicum – This remedy can look like Bryonia, with great thirst and stitching pains from coughing. Kali Carb is worse with motion. The cough is often at its worst around 3 am. This may be the start of bronchitis or pneumonia. So don’t be afraid to get checked out if the cough persists, despite your best efforts to heal it with homeopathy.
- Drosera – This remedy should be in all homes. Thankfully it’s included in the popular Helios 36-remedy family kits. Drosera coughs are spasmotic and worse in the evening and at night, especially when lying in bed. In fact, think of this remedy if a barky cough starts the minute someone’s head hits the pillow. The cough may be dry. Or it may be alternately loose and dry. Talking aggravates the cough. Like Bryonia, the patient may hold his side. Coughing may be so intense the person gags.
- Phosphorus – This remedy also belongs in your emergency kit. It has wide ranging action throughout the body, including the lungs, which may have a burning sensation. Phosphorus typically craves ice cold drinks. There may be oppression or heaviness on the chest. Phosphorus coughs are hard and dry. Lying on the left side is worse. Talking can trigger a coughing fit. It may be difficult to distinguish Phosphorus from Bryonia because both remedies are worse with motion.
- Rumex Crispus – This is a small remedy. But it’s very useful for coughs. Coughing increases when someone’s body is uncovered. It stops when covered with a blanket. The cough may be very dry, and so intense it interferes with sleep. Rumex coughs are worse and night. Breathing in cold air sets off an attack. There’s a periodicity to the cough. It may happen only in the day. Or only at night. Think of this remedy if coughing starts regularly at 11 pm and 2 am and 5 am. Talking can cause coughing, similar to Phosphorus and Drosera.
- Coccus Cacti – This small remedy can help with staccato-type coughs. The coughs are so frequent and persistent there’s little pause between the spasms. The tickling in the throat is so violent the person may vomit, or expel a great deal of mucus. Brushing the teeth causes a coughing fit. Coccus Cacti coughs are often worse in the early morning.
- Antimonium Tart – There’s a great deal of mucus in the chest. But the person cannot raise it. However, if they do expel some mucus it may be white. Breathing may also sound rattly, and it may be labored. Antimonium Tart is better with movement (the opposite of Bryonia), sitting up erect and raising mucus, if they can. They are worse in a warm room. If homeopathy doesn’t quickly turn the case around you should seek medical attention. One keynote of Antimonium Tart is that the tongue is coated white.
- Ipecac – This is better known as a vomiting remedy. But it’s also for coughs. Along with the cough the person has nausea. But vomiting doesn’t make them feel better. Often when people are sick their tongue is coated white, or a dirty tan. But with Ipecac the tongue looks normal. Like Antimonium Tart there may be mucus rattling in the chest.
- Pulsatilla – This is an excellent childrens’ remedy. But it’s also appropriate for adults, if the symptoms fit. Pulsatilla symptoms are highly changeable. For instance, the cough is dry by day. But loose and productive at night. With Pulsatilla there’s typically a lot of mucus. Patients feel worse in a warm stuffy room. But their symptoms improve with fresh air. The Pulsatilla state may be tearful, clingy and much better when consoled. Unlike Bryonia and Phosphorus, people who need Pulsatilla typically have little thirst.
- Sambucus – This remedy isn’t used much. But it’s useful for coughs with a suffocative quality. The child awakens at night grasping his throat. The cough is resonant and deep. There may also be sweating and weakness.
- Calcarea Carbonica – Consider this for people who’ve never gotten over a cold and still have a lingering cough.
- Sulphur – A remedy to consider when someone had a terrible cough that responded to other remedies, but they still have lingering symptoms.
This is just a partial list of homeopathic cough remedies to research.
Match carefully and don’t keep dosing if a remedy doesn’t seem to be working.
There are now free Materia Medicas online so you can read more about the various remedies.
Here is a link to a Private Facebook Homeopathic Learning Q&A Group I run with another homeopath. Members receive a discount on acute consultations.