Chronic, Dry Coughs

Chronic, Dry Coughs

An unproductive cough (without excess mucous) that lingers longer than three weeks should be checked
by your doctor, but is most likely caused by a post-nasal drip, asthma or gastroesophageal reflux (GER).

Post-nasal drip involves mucous dripping down the back of the throat in response to an allergy or chronic
sinus condition. A cough is to clear the mucous and often worse in the morning or after allergen contact.

If GER is the cause, irritation of the oesophagus causes a nerve message to be sent to the airways to
‘feel irritated’ and a cough ensues. If ongoing, the mucosal lining of the airways becomes supersensitive.
Even mild stimuli such as cold air, exercise or exposure to digestive system irritants such as caffeine,
chocolate, spicy food, alcohol or stress can trigger a cough.

Slippery elm powder, beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus rhamnosus, or herbs such as marshmallowroot, plantain and ribwort all soothe the mucosal linings, protecting them from irritation.

Homeoepathics can also be very effective for coughs. A traditional warm honey and fresh lemon drink after meals may help a cough via its effect upon enhancing digestion and soothing the throat.

Written by Natalie Elliott
Published 01/05/2010

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