What Your Dry Cough Means and How to Treat It
Published | 4 min read
A dry cough is a common symptom of respiratory infections and allergies. It doesn’t produce phlegm, but you could feel chest pain for several weeks. Find out why and how to achieve relief.
Read on to discover the causes and natural remedies to help alleviate the condition.
What are the Possible Causes of a Dry Cough?
Respiratory infections often cause dry coughs. Your lungs and airways become more sensitive to irritants, which can lead to coughing bouts. Some of these respiratory disorders ar
- Asthma: A chronic allergic condition affecting the lungs
- Bronchitis: An infection of the primary lung airways
- Croup: A viral infection of the upper airway characterised by breathing difficulties and a bark-like cough, usually in babies and toddlers
- Pneumonia: Inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs
- Postnasal drip: An excessive accumulation of mucus, which drips down the back of your throat
- Whooping cough: Also known as pertussis, it’s a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract
In addition, a dry cough can be a symptom of allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and vocal cord dysfunction. It can also be a consequence of medication use (anti-hypertension drugs such as ACE inhibitors) or cigarette smoking.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that dry coughing stems from dry Heat or internal Deficiencies.
Clinical and Alternative Treatment Options for a Dry Cough
Addressing the underlying cause of your dry cough will clear it more effectively than over-the-counter medication. There are also a few steps you can take to ease the discomfort.
The most important thing to do while treating a dry cough is to stay hydrated. A hot cup of water can soothe a dry throat.
Studies also show that taking a spoonful of honey may relieve coughing. Sucking on lozenges may help lubricate your throat and ease soreness.
Here’s where your cool-mist humidifier at home can help. It increases the amount of moisture in your home environment and soothes inflamed nasal passages and the throat, giving you a break from a dry cough. A steam shower or hot bath, too, can be used for the same effect.
A traditional remedy for a dry cough due to Heat-Fire is the Tendrilleaf Fritillary bulb (chuan bei mu, 川贝母). As a paste, this herbal ingredient can nourish the throat and provide relief.
Another recommended remedy is Chuanbei Loquat Cream, which relieves a dry cough, moisturises your Lungs, gets rid of phlegm and improves qi flow.
Want to soothe your coughing with a soup? Sha Shen Run Fei Qing Run soup (沙参润肺清润汤) is great for easing the hacking and a pale complexion, which indicate a Qi and Yin Deficiency.
A concoction of steamed lily bulbs (bai he, 百合) and honey can treat a long-term cough or dry throat. Hou Ning powder (喉宁) is traditionally used to relieve a cough but can also calm asthma or bronchitis onset.
The quicker you receive treatment, the better your chances are of preventing a chronic dry cough. Consider using herbal formulas and ingredients to help relieve it holistically. However, avoid self-medicating and seek the opinion of a qualified TCM practitioner instead for best results.
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