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Homeopathic Tx of Coughs

It’s 11:45 pm at night, and you awaken to hear your child hacking with a cough.  The cough sounds barking and your child complains that he awoke feeling like he couldn’t breath.  You grab the Robitussin, which appears to provide temporary relief, but it isn’t long until the cough returns.  You try giving your child a glass of cold water, but this seems to only make the cough worse.  You can’t re-dose the cough medicine just yet, and you are running out of options on how to help your child.  But don’t fret; homeopathy can come to the rescue in these situations!  Homeopathic spongia should do the trick in this case.


Let’s take a deeper look at spongia. The typical spongia cough sounds hard, barking, crowing, or whistling.  There can be difficult or labored breathing, which is ameliorated when the child sits up and bends forwards.  Typically these coughs are dry with scanty and difficult expectoration.  Spongia coughs are worse after sleep, with a particular worsening before or after midnight.  Another interesting characteristic of these coughs is that they are ameliorated by warm food or drinks.  Spongia is a common remedy for treating croup in children, and definitely a remedy you want to have on hand for your little ones.


Drosera is a great remedy for deep coughs.  These coughs can also be dry and barking, similar to spongia, but coughs needing drosera tend to be deeper, more spasmodic, and more paroxysmal.  The paroxysms of coughs are often violent and rapid, and can result in a feeling that you can’t catch your breath.  These coughs are always made worse by lying down.  You will often see people who need this remedy sleeping propped up at night, as lying down will immediately elicit their cough.   These coughs are also worse from drinking, talking, and after midnight.


Rumex is your go-to remedy for coughs that are caused by a tickling in the throat pit (suprasternal notch area).  Even applying pressure to the throat pit can provoke these coughs.  These coughs are typically dry with a constant desire to hawk up mucus, which is often ineffectual.  These coughs can be frequent, continuous, or in long spaced out coughing fits.   These coughs are aggravated by breathing in cold air, especially when the air changes from warm to cold.


Bryonia is a great remedy for those very painful coughs.  A child needing bryonia will be worse with any type of movement, and ameliorated by pressure.  Because of this, you will often see them holding their chest while coughing.  You may observe short and rapid breathing, as taking deep breaths is extremely painful. These coughs are worse in warm rooms, and better in cold, open air.


Phosphorus can be a great remedy for both dry and loose coughs.  Expectoration can be either difficult or profuse, and sputum can vary in color, taste, consistency, and can even be bloody!  These coughs are worse at night, with talking, with cold air, and with odors.  Phosphorus coughs are often triggered by a tickling in the throat or chest.  These coughs can cause tightness, pressure, or burning pains in the chest.  Phosphorus is a great remedy for colds that always end up in the chest, so if this sounds like your child, phosphorus would be a great remedy to consider!


A good remedy for those productive wet coughs is pulsatilla pratensis.  Pulsatilla is a great homeopathic remedy for loose coughs with thick yellow or green expectoration.  These coughs tend to be dryer at night, and more productive in the morning.   Strong modalities for the pulsatilla cough are that it is worse in a warm room, and ameliorated in cool or open air.

While the remedy list can go on and on, the remedies listed above are some of the more common cough remedies and great ones to select for your home remedy kit.


When it comes to treating coughs with homeopathy, the characteristics of the cough are very important as homeopathy works best when treating the unique and unusual symptoms of a disease.   As a parent or practitioner, your excellent observational skills will definitely come in handy when using homeopathy.  Things to look out for include the quality of the cough, sensations, timing/frequency, and modalities (what makes it better or worse). 

While homeopathy can be a safe, effective, and quick acting solution for treating coughs, it is important to always seek a doctor’s care for proper evaluation and follow up regarding your child’s cough. 

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