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Health Corner: Simple Formulations For Cough

Pratibha Shah
12/09/2008

Hello everyone. Hope you read my previous article on common cold and were able to benefit from some of the simple home remedies listed there.

In this article, I’ll tell you about some simple formulations for cough, an ailment as troublesome as the common cold. Broadly speaking, there are two types of cough, productive (mucus being coughed out) and dry (little or no mucus). Let us see what we can do in each of them. I have tried to include only those formulations whose ingredients are easily available.

Productive cough:
•    Take the powders of harad, pippali, sunth(dried ginger powder) and black pepper, in equal quantity. Mix these with a little amount of jaggery and consume at least twice daily. This mixture is a very good mucolytic1 and expectorant2 agent.
•    Black pepper powder 1 part, pippali powder 2 parts, pomegranate peel-dried and powdered 4parts, jaggery (grated) 8 parts and yav khar or jo khar (available in Indian store) half part – take all the above ingredients, mix well together and use 1 teaspoon morning and evening with honey. This mixture is known to provide relief in severe cough.
•    Boil about a gram each of pippali, sunth, syah jeera and ajwain in four cups of water. Boil until one cup water remains. Remove pot from fire and allow to cool down a little. Then add 2 teaspoons of honey and sip like tea. *never add honey to a very hot liquid.

Dry cough:
•    All formulas mentioned in my earlier article on common cold will provide relief in cough too. Besides black pepper, a few pinches of turmeric powder mixed with honey also act as excellent anti allergic.
•    One tried and tested and very effective measure in dry cough, specially if it keeps you awake at night or wakes you up from sleep, is – warm a tsp of desi ghee or mustard oil, mix about half tsp of saindha namak (you can use normal salt in its absence) in it and apply warm, slowly massaging the front area of the neck. Then slowly massage the rest of it on the chest. Cover the neck with an old hanky or scarf. You will sleep like a baby. Sleeping at an elevated angle also helps.
•    Dry cough generally bothers more in the night. So before going to bed, use this formula – take 3 pinches of sphatika (alum) powder, 1 pinch of yav khar or jo khar, half tsp of black pepper powder, mix with 3 tsp of honey. Lick about one fourth tsp before going to bed and also every time it wakes you up. This mix can be taken once every 2-3 hours (depending on the severity of the cough) during the day also.

Sometimes irritative cough is due to gastric reflux (acidity). In that case this formulation will give immense relief – powders of clove, jaiphal (nutmeg), and small pippali, 1 part each; black pepper powder 2 parts, sunth powder 16 parts; mix all these powders and then add 21 parts mishri ( or sugar). Mix well and keep this mixture in a glass jar and use half tsp twice daily with honey OR mildly roast 4 tsp saunf (dill seeds), mix with equal quantity of mishri, chew and eat about half tsp twice or thrice a day.

Tips:
•    Do not eat or drink anything that irritates the throat; avoid cold, sour, fried and pungent substances.
•    Consume lot of warm fluids.
•    Always cover mouth while coughing.
•    Drink warm water after food.

Notes:
1.    Mucolytic – that which breaks down mucus
2.    Expectorant – that which helps in bringing up mucus from the lungs.

I’d like to end by quoting the wise Aristotle: “we are what we repeatedly do”. Well then, let us all repeatedly indulge in healthy practices, so that we all become healthy. See you in two weeks.



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