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Coughs are a very common symptom of Respiratory tract disorders. It must however, be remembered that a cough is only a symptom. Technically, one should not treat a cough, but should consider and try to correct the underlying problem causing the cough.


What is cough?

Coughs are a very common symptom of Respiratory tract disorders. It must however, be remembered that a cough is only a symptom. Technically, one should not treat a cough, but should consider and try to correct the underlying problem causing the cough.
Coughs can be voluntary, but the coughs which really matter in ill-health are those which are involuntary. Coughing is caused by irritation of the cough reflex. The larger bronchi and trachea possess nerve receptors which are sensitive to contact and irritants. Stimulation of these receptors provokes the cough reflex. During coughing, there is a sudden forced expiration of air from the lungs. At the same time, the muscles present in the Respiratory tract, from the pharynx down to the smaller bronchi tighten, causing a generalised constriction of the airways. The purpose of these coordinated movements is to create a sudden expulsion of air, moving forcefully away from the lungs. Any foreign object, particle, or mucus is then forced out of the Respiratory tract, and into the back of the pharynx, to be either expectorated, or swallowed. Whilst coughs can be very troublesome, they do serve the purpose of clearing the Respiratory tract of unwanted debri and mucus. In situations where food has entered the trachea inadvertently, this can potentially be life saving. Coughs are often divided into two types – dry cough and wet cough.

Causes of coughing

When people give up smoking, for example, or if they are exposed to an abnormal amount of airborne debris, such as that experienced when living in a city, the lungs will attempt to rid themselves of the accumulated toxic material by initiating muscular spasms that project the material upwards. 
A bacterial or viral infection may also initiate a cough, as the body attempts to remove the dead cells and waste matter left behind after the fight between the immune system and the germ. Sometimes though, things go wrong. The problem with what is a useful tool for keeping us healthy, is that some coughs are ineffective and we continue coughing irritatingly without improving the condition of our respiratory tract at all. This might be due to the continued presence of the irritant (such as tobacco smoke) or the very viscose nature of the material the body is trying to shift. Thick, molasses-like substances, left behind by tobacco inhalation, may be almost impossible for the body to break up and bring up.
Additionally, when a cough has been present for a while, the lining of the respiratory tract becomes inflamed and easily irritated, and more coughing can be triggered by very mild and innocuous irritants.


The most common cause of coughing must be due to cigarettes. The particles from cigarette smoke which are deposited on the surfaces of the bronchi cause irritation of the mucosal surfaces and trigger the cough reflex. Prolonged exposure of the mucosal surfaces to cigarette smoke can cause a number of changes to the mucosal surfaces. There is an increase in the number of mucus secreting glands, and a loss of number and function of the cilia present on the ciliated mucosal cells.
The effect of these changes to the mucosal lining is to cause an increased secretion of mucus in the bronchi, as well as a reduced ability to clear the secretions. This creates an increased susceptibility of the bronchi to infections, leading to conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
The most devastating effects of smoking must be its ability to increase the incidence of cancer. It is now common knowledge that smoking causes Lung Cancer. Many other cancers are also associated with smoking, and this list includes Bladder cancer and Nasopharyngeal Cancer (cancer of the nasal passages and pharynx).

Dry Cough

Dry cough is one where there is no phlegm or no sputum production.
Most commonly,dry cough,is seen in viral infections of the nose and throat, where you get a continuous cough with a feeling of something being stuck in the throat.

Wet Cough

In wet cough, the person expels a lot of phlegm (or sputum), because of problems arising from the lungs like bronchitis, pneumonia,asthma or some rare uncommon disorders.

Symptom Specific Solutions

Dry coughs

Some people would choose remedies to soothe their throat and chest instantly, preferably using something that tastes great. A.Vogel Soothing Natural Cough Syrup is soothing and pleasant to taste.A.Vogel Soothing Natural Cough Syrup is best for a dry, tickly-throat cough, sitting nicely with Plantago as it has a gentle decongesting action. This remedy is not suitable for diabetics as it contains honey and sugar. 

  • Great taste! 
  • Alcohol-free! 
  • Fresh fresh wild Norway Spruce 
  • Clinically proven 
  • Gluten- and lactose-free
Wet cough

Bronchosan is able to deliver a ‘double whammy’ to respiratory complaints. Ivy relaxes the bronchial tubes, easing tightness and reducing spasms of coughing. Thyme thins mucus in the lungs, helping its expulsion. In other words, you’ll cough less but when you do cough, it will be more productive – something will come out! Thyme also has antiinfective properties.The good news is that you can use Bronchosan in conjunction with  asthma medication to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Bronchosan can also be taken with antibiotics, helping the body get rid of the infection faster. 
Use Bronchosan when the problem lies below the neck, in the lungs or on the chest. Endless ‘hacking’ coughs will be reduced, but the muck (be it catarrh or gunge from an ex-smoker’s lungs) will come up more easily. The chest will feel less tight and tender, and the feeling ofhaving concrete in your lungs will lift.The joy of this remedy is the speed at which it works. Often, 12 hours of use can easily make a big difference to your condition. This is especially important with children’s coughs, which can keep the whole household awake! It is safe for children and also for diabetics, who often struggle to find a ‘cough bottle’ free from sugar.Infection is a major factor for many people with chronic chest complaints. In these circumstances, the combination of Echinaforce and Bronchosan can be extremely effective. On the other hand Bronchosan is an alternative for people with allergies to Echinacea, since it does not any.

What you can do

Sometimes suppressing a cough is the worst thing you could do because the toxins that should have been removed stay in the system and bung you up. 
The best thing is to help the body remove the irritants as quickly and effectively as possible. Here are some sensible guidelines: 

  • Reduce your intake of dairy foods
  • Drink plenty of still water (warm if you prefer) and ensure your bowel is working daily, to flush toxins out of the system
  • Don’t stay in stuffy rooms or expose yourself to cigarette smoke
  • Enjoy the fresh air but wrap up warmly and don’t expose your throat to cold winds
  • Keep your immune system strong by taking a maintenance dose of Echinaforce® (15 drops once daily) if you are prone to coughs and colds in the winter.
Please remember that anyone with a persistent cough should be taken to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Coughs can indicate serious respiratory problems and should never be ignored.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Sonia Chartier

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