It seems weird to talk about cough and its treatment. But honestly, the patient who suffers from cough for long time will be ready to do anything to get rid of the cough. Because the reflex of cough, disturbs the whole system. And can lead to serious conditions too, if not treated properly. Here we will discuss about perspective of Ayurveda about chronic cough. Along with that we will discuss the details about Ayurveda Treatment of chronic cough.

Cough is chronic if it lasts more than four weeks in children and more than eight weeks in adults. Coughing is no doubt, routine bodily function. It is a little uncomfortable but serves an essential purpose in cleaning your airways. It brings out foreign material and mucus from your airways that may irritate your lungs. However, coughing may also be the response to illness or inflammation. Most of the cough is a symptom of common cold, and you feel better after a few days and a week. However, in some cases, cough lingers up for several weeks on months or even years.  If it lasts for an extended period, it becomes annoying, gets in the way of everyday life, and deprives you of your social and professional life.

Facts on Chronic Cough 

  • Ayurveda talks about condition of chronic cough as – Kaas.
  • Ayurveda classifies the cough in 5 subtypes. Where Ayurveda considers cause and doshas both.
  • Chronic cough is not a disease but a symptom of some underlying disease condition.
  • It interferes with sleep, leaves you exhausted, causes vomiting, and lightheadedness. It can even result in rib fractures. 
  • Do not take chronic cough without any apparent reason lightly as it may be an indication of some serious underlying disease. 
  • Most of the chronic cough is treatable if results from conditions such as allergy or postnasal drip.
  • In most of the cases, if the underline problem is treated, chronic cough typically disappears. 
  • Only in a few cases, chronic cough is an indication of potential life-threatening lung conditions such as interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, etc.
  • If any cough lasts for more than 3 weeks, better to check it out with our doctor.

Types of chronic cough 

According to the expression, chronic cough is of different types. And these types coincide with Ayurveda too. When we go for ayurveda treatment of chronic cough, these subtypes are used to select the medicines.

Every subtype has different treatment. Below you can check the relation of the ayurvedic subtypes.

1. Dry cough – In persistent or chronic dry cough, no mucus is produced. But there is irritation to the throat and lungs. A dry cough is usually a sign of viral infection or sinus issues. 

2. Wet cough – A chronic wet cough produces sputum or mucus. The colour of the sputum indicates if there is a bacterial infection or it is a case of fluid in the lungs. 

3. Barking cough – This type of cough is seen in children. It is associated with croup or other viral diseases. Swollen trachea (the windpipe) produces the barking sound in croup cough. 

4. Stress cough – When the airways are under stress, it creates a reflexive spasm that causes stress cough. Stress cough produces no mucus and is not associated with any infection. 

5. Whooping cough – When a cough produces a whooping sound, it is an indication of some serious infection. Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Under babies less than one year of age, it may prove to be deadly. The doctor should evaluate it as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Chronic Cough 

Cough is not a disease, but itself a sign of some underlying disease. Other symptoms that accompany include: 

  • Fluid dripping down the back of your throat or postnasal discharge. 
  • Runny nose 
  • A sore throat
  • Heartburn
  • A sour taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Hoarse voice
  • Stuffed nose
  • Wheezing respiration
  • Shortness of breath

A chronic cough may also cause:

  • Dizziness 
  • Fainting
  • Chest soreness 
  • Discomfort in chest
  • Headaches
  • Frustration 
  • Anxiety if the cause is unknown.
  • Sleep loss
  • Urine leakage

If chronic cough accompanies symptoms discussed below, call your doctor immediately: 

  • Cough up blood
  • Night sweats
  • High fever
  • Short of breath
  • Persistent chest pain 
  • Weight loss without any apparent cause

Causes of Chronic Cough 

A variety of factors causes chronic cough. Common causes include: 

  1. Chronic bronchitis– Chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammation of the air tubes known as bronchi. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis keep on coming back. 
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – It is a chronic inflammation of airways caused typically due to excessive smoking. 
  3. Asthma  Asthma leads to narrowing and swelling of the airways due to the production of extra mucus. It makes breathing difficult, along with wheezing, shortness of breath, and triggers a cough. For a few people, it is just minor nuisance, whereas, in others, it starts interfering in the daily activities and may lead to an asthma attack. Cough variant asthma causes cough explicitly.
  4. Gastroesophageal reflux disease – Gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux is a chronic condition where the stomach contents rise into the oesophagus and the throat. The acid causes chronic irritation in the throat and lead to a cough. 
  5. Postnasal drip – Postnasal drip results due to the dripping of the mucus down back of the throat. It irritates the throat and triggers the cough reflex. 
  6. Lingering effect- effect of infection- Even after the severe infection such as the flu or pneumonia subsides, and other symptoms alleviate, chronic cough may linger due to inflamed airways. 
  7. Blood pressure-lowering medications – Certain medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can cause cough.

Other common causes of chronic cough include: 

  • Bronchiectasis – It is a condition where airways enlarge than normal due to excessive mucus production. 
  • Aspiration – When saliva or food enters the airways, it is termed as aspiration. Bacteria and virus collect in fluid and leads to irritation of the airways. Aspiration may also lead to pneumonia. 
  • Cystic fibrosis – Cystic fibrosis leads to excess mucus in the lungs and results in chronic cough. 
  • Bronchiolitis – Bronchiolitis commonly affects children. It is inflammation of bronchioles due to a virus. 
  • Lung cancer – Rarely chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer. The patient with lung cancer also experiences blood in their sputum and chest pain. 
  • Sarcoidosis – It is an inflammatory disorder that results in small growths in the lungs as well as eyes, skin, and lymph nodes.

How cough occurs 

Coughing is a way of our body to keep unwanted foreign bodies and microbes from entering into the lungs. It also removes extra mucus from the airways. However, smoking, lung infection, sinus problems, COPD, and other lung diseases such as asthma results in excessive mucus production that irritate the airways. With time, it leads to inflammation and chronic cough.

Ayurveda About Chronic Cough

Because chronic cough represents the different complicated conditions, therefore Ayurveda talks about this in detail. The condition of chronic cough is described as- Kaas. Where Ayurveda talks about the treatment and all related details of this condition.

Ayurveda talks about certain signs which appear before the cough. Because when we have knowledge of these symptoms these helps in controlling the condition. So this primary detail is important to know. These symptoms are-

  1. Patient feels as if “grain chaff” is stuck in the throat.
  2. Itching in the airways.
  3. Problem in swallowing the food.

These are common symptoms, which appear before the condition of cough. Rest of the symptoms vary according to the subtypes.

Here we need to know about the subtypes now.

Vataja Kasa

Because Vata is aggravated in this subtype. Therefore this is known as Vataja Kasa.

  1. Dry cough.
  2. It takes lot of effort to get rid of the phlegm.
  3. Because of these two above, patient complains about pain in abdomen, ribs and sides.
  4. When cough continues it causes hoarseness of voice.
  5. With cough sound like resonate appears.
  6. Mostly cough will appear after 1 hour of taking food.

Hence, we have the dry cough and whooping cough here under this category.

Pittaja Kasa

The pitta aggravates and causes this subtype. So this condition we call as Pittaja Kasa. Here are the symptoms-

  1. Patient expectorates the yellow mucus.
  2. Because of the mucus patient feels bitter taste in mouth.
  3. Problem in speaking.
  4. Burning in chest.
  5. Patient wants to drink water again and again.
  6. Loss of appetite.

According to symptoms, this condition correlates with – eosinophilic cough and GERD.

Kaphaja Kasa

Aggravated Kapha dosha causes the cough. So we know it as Kaphaja Kasa. And symptoms are-

  1. Because of excess of mucus- loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting appears.
  2. The collected mucus gives sensation of fullness in chest.
  3. Because of extra phlegm- mucus comes easily.
  4. Salty taste of mucus

So according to the symptoms this condition relates to the wet cough.

These three subtypes of cough in ayurveda are according to the doshas. But the rest two are according to the causes.

Kshataja Kasa

When a person does some physical-strenuous exercise- one need to hold the breath. And when this strain is maximum on the lungs. This leads to the damage to the airways. Because Kshata means- damage, therefore this subtype where we consider the damage to the lung tissue is known as kshataja kasa.

The symptoms are-

  1. Dry cough followed by blood tinged sputum.
  2. Pain in chest and throat while coughing.
  3. Because of injury feeling of pins and needles deep in chest.
  4. In severe cases there might be tenderness
  5. Pigeon like humming sound from chest.

Because of the nature of disease this condition is “serious”. And needs immediate care for the patient.

Kshayaja Kasa

Kshaya means- decay. Because this cough happens due to decay in the body.

  1. Phlegm with blood and pus.
  2. Weakness while coughing.
  3. Body temperature keeps on changing.
  4. Patient feels emaciated and weak.
  5. Feeling of very weak, and emaciation
  6. Psychological disturbances.
  7. Feeling feverish.
  8. Irritable bowel syndrome.

So we have detailed descriptions of the chronic cough from the Ayurveda books. And these details are enough to assure about the ayurvedic treatment of cough.

Ayurveda Treatment of Chronic Cough

The big play in the treatment of the cough, a simple looking condition is- proper diagnosis. When you cough a lot and it is dry, you might feel this is just a cough. But it might be Sjogren’s Syndrome. The hoarseness of voice along with dry cough tries to tell us something. We need to look at things in a better way!

This is where Ayurveda treatment specializes.

Before doing the Ayurveda treatment the proper diagnosis is a must. When we have a proper classification of the disease. It becomes easy to treat the cough.

When it is dry, we need to make the system unctuous. So that the cough can disappear for the rest of your life. And when it is about excessive phlegm we need to increase dryness.

Why cough complicates

Without diagnosing if you keep on taking this or that “antitussive” medicines to relieve the cough can lead you to severe complications.

Because treatment for chronic cough is not about just stopping the reflex. The reflex there is for all good. When body wants to get rid of the extra mucus. Body does it. But when this thing keeps on continuously suppressed, it reduces the capacity of the lungs and nervous system inside.

If you want to get rid of the cough permanently, you need to come to Jaipur only for once. And later you can enjoy a good life and that too without any coughing.

The treatment doesn’t need Panchakarma.

All you need are- medicines after the right diagnosis.

Please make sure you make an appointment before coming.

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