Cough (Kaasa Roga)
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Introduction

 

Most people have cough all over the world. Since coughing is such a natural activity, most times we tend to overlook the issue. This is when coughs can become persistent. In fact, coughs are just the tips of icebergs. Meaning that, coughs are symptoms of some internal disorder, which could be very serious. Hence it is very important to understand the indications of coughs properly and seek remedies for the problem before it aggravates.

Definition of Cough (Kaasa Roga)

 

Cough is the expulsion of obstructive matter in the respiratory tract, especially in the trachea, with a great deal of force and a characteristic coughing sound. The obstructions in the trachea could be any kind of foreign matter, or phlegm due to cold or a food particle that has entered the trachea by mistake.

Cough is a very normal animal activity. It is a mechanism of the body to keep the respiratory tract free of obstructive matter. However, in some circumstances, the cough becomes aggravated. Coughing begins to interfere in the normal activities of the person and can also get complicated into other problems. This situation is known as persistent cough.

Generally, coughing is accompanied by phlegm. This happens during common cold when mucus builds up in the lungs. Such coughing is normal with common cold and treats itself when the common cold subsides.

Smokers get a famous kind of cough called as the smokers’ cough or chronic cough. Smokers’ cough has no phlegmatic discharge. It is characterized by a dry hollow feeling in the chest cavity. This type of cough occurs due to irritation of the respiratory tract.

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Types of Cough (Kaasa Roga)

There are several types of cough differentiated by their causes and their symptoms. The following is a list of the different types of coughs and their causes:-

Type of Cough

Symptoms or Characteristics

Causes

Irritable Cough

Violent bout of dry coughing accompanied by a sensation of release in the respiratory tract.

Inhalation of dust or any other foreign matter in the trachea.

Phlegmatic Cough

The normal cough that comes as a symptom of common cold. There is phlegmatic discharge which is clear white or light yellow in color.

Viral infection like common cold.

Wheezing Cough

Coughing accompanied by wheezing and short gasps of breath.

Constriction of the respiratory tract due to asthmatic conditions.

Bronchial Cough

Coughing is accompanied by a yellowish or greenish mucosal discharge.

Infection of the respiratory tract due to bronchitis or bronchial asthma.

Coughing with Fever

There is fever accompanying the cough for some days.

Could be due to either influenza or pneumonia.

Tubercular Cough

Coughing with bloody sputum and fevers at night.

Infection of tuberculosis.

Cancerous Cough

Severe dry cough accompanied by a loss of weight.

Lung cancer. Must seek medical assistance without any delay.

Coughing due to Pulmonary Embolism

This coughing follows swelling in the legs. It shows other symptoms like chest pain and gasping breath.

Migration of a blood clot from the lower limbs to the thoracic area.

Coughing due to Pulmonary Edema

This coughing releases pink frothy sputum. There is shortness of breath.

Caused due to a condition called as pulmonary edema, in which a fluid gets filled within the lungs.

Chronic Cough or Smokers’ Cough

This type of coughing is dry, without any phlegmatic discharge. There is a feeling of release of particles from the respiratory tract.

Excessive smoking can cause smokers’ cough. Smokers’ cough could also be an indication of the onset of cancers of the respiratory tract. Smoking must be avoided completely when these coughs begin.

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Causes of Cough (Kaasa Roga)

There are several causative factors of cough, which give rise to different types of coughs in humans. Some of the triggering agents of coughs are as follows:-

(i) Inhalation of dust or other particles

(ii) Inhalation of toxic fumes or smokes

(iii) Infections of common cold

(iv) Bronchial asthma, which causes constriction of the respiratory tract

(v) Diseases such as pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis

(vi) Complicated lung conditions such as pulmonary embolism and pulmonary edema

(vii) Lung cancers and tumors within the trachea

(viii) Excessive smoking, what is generally termed as chain-smoking.

According to Ayurvedic theories, coughs are caused due to vitiation in the kaphadosha. The kapha dosha represents the earth and water elements. It controls the proper coordination of the body with the outer environment. The avalambikakapha dosha is responsible for the secretions of the respiratory tract. Hence any change in the balance of the avalambika kapha dosha can cause coughing in humans.

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Symptoms of Cough (Kaasa Roga)

Coughing itself is a symptom of some internal ailment. There can be different kinds of coughing, which could mean different disorders with the respiratory system. For detailed information on the different cough symptoms and what they can be interpreted as, refer to the table describing the types of cough.

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Complications due to Cough (Kaasa Roga)

Coughing that persists for a long time could be a reason of a deep-rooted internal malady. It could indicate the presence of some dangerous condition like bronchitis, influenza, pneumonia, asthma and even lung cancers. Therefore it is extremely important to seek medical attention for persistent cough as soon as possible.

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Transmission of Cough (Kaasa Roga)

Most coughs are contagious. Speaking in the proper context, the diseases that cause most coughs are contagious. Coughing releases sputum which contains the infecting vector, which could be a bacterium or a virus. When some other person inhales this infected air, there is a very high probability that that person would develop the condition also.

Adults who have coughs must stay totally away from children and especially newborn infants. In children, the respiratory tract is still developing and the internal resistance is not yet built up completely. Hence it is absolutely vital to stay away from them to prevent any contagion.

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Diet during Cough (Kaasa Roga)

Since coughing is an ailment of the respiratory tract and not the digestive system, diets are not of much use in treating coughs. Though diets cannot treat the coughs directly, the can treat the underlying factor that is causing the cough. In this respect, the following foods can have a beneficial effect on some kinds of coughs:-

(i) Fluid foods have a much better effect in allaying cough than solid foods. Fresh fruit juices are good to have, but they should be had without refrigeration or without adding ice. Cooling the juices would aggravate the common cold condition and hence irritate the respiratory tract further.

(ii) Milk can be safely taken during coughs despite the common belief that it is harmful for the condition. However, milk should be properly pasteurized. Cold milk should be completely avoided. The same goes for all cold milk products such as ice-creams and milkshakes.

(iii) Avoid oily food. Oils have a very annoying way of passing through the esophagus (food pipe) which causes irritation in the chest. Even spicy foods must be avoided. A person with a cough problem will have a bout of coughing when the first morsel of oily or spicy food is put into the mouth.

(iv) Fibers are good. They are easy to digest and are light on the body.

(v) Avoid all nuts such as groundnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts and pistachios. These have high oil content.

(vi) Coconuts are also harmful due to the presence of high oil content in them.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Cough (Kaasa Roga)

Kaasa Roga can be quite easily and effectively treated with the help of Ayurveda. Ayurveda has got a long list of herbs for both oral consumption and external application for allaying coughs caused due to almost all conditions. Most of these herbs are part of the regular diet and do not have any side-effects. Hence they can be consumed without any supervision or prescription.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Alsi

Linum usitatissimum

Linseed

The seeds of the alsi plant are useful in the treatment of coughs and colds.

Bahera

Terminalia belerica

Belleric myroblan

A mixture of the fruit of the belleric myroblan fruit, salt, long pepper and honey is a household remedy for the treatment of coughs.

Elaichi

Elattaria cardamomum

Cardamom

In order to clear sore throats, an infusion of cardamom and cinnamon is prepared and used for gargling. Good cough remedy

Haldi

Curcuma longa

Turmeric

Turmeric has been considered effective for the treatment of chronic cough and throat irritations since ancient times. Half a tablespoon of freshly ground turmeric powder is mixed with milk and drunk to get immediate effects.

Kaiphala

Myrica nagi

Bay berry

Kaiphala has curative powers for the treatment of catarrh of the mucus membranes. It can free the chest of phlegm and hence treat coughs caused due to common cold.

Kali mari

Piper nigrum

Black Pepper

Pepper is a good remedy for treating coughs caused due to irritated throats. Just keeping three pieces of black pepper on the tongue does the trick.

Kumari

Aloe vera

Indian Aloe

The juice of the roasted leaf of Indian aloe taken with honey is a good medicine for the treatment of colds and coughs.

Lahsoona

Allium sativum

Garlic

Garlic can dissolve the mucus buildup in the respiratory tract. This helps to remove colds and thus treat the related coughs.

Lal Dudhi

Euphorbia hirta

Euphorbia

Euphorbia is used to treat cough that is complicated by the presence of bronchitis.

Lavanga

Syzygium aromaticum

Clove

Simply chewing on a single clove relieves the inflammation of the pharynx and thus relieves cough. Clove oil is a very effective medicine in treating most throat ailments like congested throats, septic throats, pharyngitis, etc.

Mahua

Madhuca indica

Madhuca

The flowers of the madhuca tree are good remedies in the treatment of bronchitis and related coughs.

Mehndi

Lawsonium inermis

Henna

An infusion of the leaves of henna can be used for gargling. This is known to be a cure for sore throats and related coughs.’

Methi

Trigonella foenum graecum

Fenugreek

Fenugreek leaves are used as treatment for respiratory tract problems such as bronchitis, cough, etc. Good remedy for cough

Mulethi

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice

Dry cough (smokers’ cough) can be treated by allowing a decoction of licorice mixed with honey pass slowly through the throat.

Palash

Butea monosperma

Butea

Leaves of the butea plant are effective in the treatment of sore throat related cough. The application of the paste can treat congested and septic throat.

Pan

Piper betle

Betel leaves

Applying the crushed leaves of the betel locally is effective in the treatment of cough due to sore throat. A mixture of the betel berry and honey is used to relieve cough due to irritated throat.

Saunf

Fenniculum vulgare

Fennel

Fennel seeds with figs are a good remedy for the treatment of bronchial cough.

Sunthi

Zingiber officinale

Ginger

A juice of ginger mixed with honey is a good medicine for treating coughs and colds.

Tulsi

Ocimum sanctum

Holy Basil

Leaves of the holy basil put in water and boiled is a wonderful remedy for sore throat and cough when drunk.

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Comments

thanksss
good text and information
#1 - samii - 04/25/2008 - 11:37
Thanks a lot,
you have shared very good information
#2 - PUSHPARAJ - 04/02/2009 - 02:10
very useful information about the cough.. then. all of the other information about the diseases are also very good.... keep going
#3 - anuksha - 08/21/2010 - 22:06
good suggestions
#4 - a. k.awasthi - 08/15/2011 - 08:28
great. one of the best articles i have ever read. thanks and good luck
#5 - raj - 10/29/2011 - 12:39
very intresting and useful at home
#6 - marie - 03/02/2012 - 12:49
very good for health.
i m fine....
#7 - navneet vaghela anand - 10/18/2012 - 03:39
very use full tip
#8 - raghvendra kashyap - 12/16/2015 - 11:54
indeed Very Useful dude.....
#9 - Neeraj - 11/17/2017 - 00:28
Ia this a complete home treatment to eliminate dry cough from the roots of your body?
#10 - Prateek bhasin - 02/09/2018 - 10:38
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