Coughing is generally a reflex action to clear of the irritant body or mucus from the throat, but the repetitive bouts of cough should be considered as a clinical condition. The cough can be a result of lower or upper respiratory tract infection, flu or cold (viral or bacterial).

Generally cough is classified and treated depending upon the symptom – cough with mucus expectoration and without expectoration i.e. Dry cough.

Persistent dry cough can really be very irritating and troublesome. According to Ayurveda classification dry cough falls in vataj kaas category – meaning cough or kaas with dominance of Vata dosha.

  1. Patient coughs for a longtime but with very little or no mucus expectoration.
  2. Dryness of throat and mouth.
  3. Headache,chest and backache can arise on persistent coughing.
  4. Continuous dry cough bouts can also cause fatigue and weakness.
  5. itchy and sore throat.

Dry cough or Vataj cough is aggravated by cold and dry air, cold, stale, processed and fried foods, excess travelling, and over exertion. Vata aggravating foods and activities like packaged food, fermented food, uncooked sprouts also worsen the dry cough. The cough worsens in the evening, early morning and/or at bedtime.

Few easy home remedies :

  1. Gargles – Salt and turmeric water gargles soothens the throat and reduces the soreness. It also helps to expel the phlegm (mucus).
  2. Always drink hot water, this will pacify vata and also heal the throat.
  3. Water medicated with Licorice (Yashtimadhu), 4-5 black currants and small piece of dry ginger loosens the cough, pacifies vata, decreases fatigue and relieves pain  and dryness of throat.
  4. Medicated herbal tea with clove, lemon grass, tulsi leaves, ginger and sugar/jaggery soothens the throat.
  5. Apply sesame oil over chest, back, neck and throat and also on navel, this should be followed by steam inhalation.
  6. If the bout of dry cough persists for longtime or repetitive bouts occur, sip a spoonful of edible cooking oil with pinch of rock salt after every 5-10 mins, repeat 2-3times. This will help stop the bouts.
  7. Chewing a clove or piece of rock sugar also prevents repetitive cough.
  8. Avoid exertion and exposure to cold air, wear warm clothes.
  9. Eat fresh, home cooked warm food specially vegetable or chicken/meat soup or semisolid khichdi, gruels. Dont forget to add pinch of pepper, rock salt and Ghee to your food.
  10. Always be sure you are not constipated, constipation vitiates vata and worsens the vataj cough.
  11. Panchakarma procedures like snehan swedan followed by Anuvasan basti proves beneficial. Anuvasan Basti (basti with medicated oil) pacifies and regulates vata and reduces the episodes of dry irritating cough.
  12. Medicines like kantakari avleha, sitopaladi churna, hingvashtak churna, taken with ghee, oil or jaggery is also beneficial.

Note : Do consult a doctor if the cough doesnt reduce in 7-8 days. Medicines should be taken under the guidance of your Ayurvedic Physician.