par Jennifer Sun septembre 21, 2020 3 min read

We're entering a wonderful season of Autumn, when leaves start to fall and our last few days of Summer are cherished via apple picking (to my fellow NYers!), crunchy leaves falling, and waking up to crisp cool air. The first day of Fall has passed us, so it's time to think about preparing home remedies for cough!

As the weather becomes more dry, this is a common time for many us to experience some form of a seasonal coughs.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine , it is not a 1 cough fits all. We are trained to listen to the sound (deep or light?), look for color (is there phlegm? what color?), understand stage of the cough (a fleeing cough or deep chested)?

Here's a run down on all the most common types of cough (from light, to medium, to severe)

Please note: if you have a persistent cough or chest congestion, please get this checked out ASAP - especially with our current global pandemic. It's best to nip it in the bud quickly before your cough progresses to a chronic stage.
  • Tickly cough

    This type is most similar to an allergic cough, which in TCM we consider to be easy to relieve and temporary. Allergic cough symptoms cause the body to feel an itchy feeling, which causes the tickly cough. It's best to avoid fresh seafood or spicy foods until the cough. In TCM, we believe seafood and spicy food exacerbate allergenic symptoms.

  • Dry cough

    As the name suggests, your lungs are likely dry and need extra moisture. Home remedies for cough should focus on lubricating the lungs with warming teas and increasing consumption moistening foods until the symptoms subside (pears, lotus seeds, sweet potato, yam)

  • Sore throat and cough

    A sore throat is the first sign your body is sending an emergency signal - not to be confused with a night out on the town, this sore throat hurts when you swallow. The sore throat and cough is a sign that your body's defense system is under

  • Wet cough / Phlegm cough

    This is a sign of stickiness, dampness, extra fluid that's stuck. It's important to note if the color is clear/white or dense/yellow. Usually yellow indicates signs of heat in the body. The dampness is causing chest congestion and this means there is excess mucus in the lungs. TCM cough medicine like Pi Pa Gao are cooling and when you eat it, it helps anneal to the phlegm and pull it out. This is definitely one of my favorite natural remedies for cough - I grew up with this, so it's definitely Sun family approved.

  • Coughing up yellow mucus

    Similar to the phlegm coughs, there is indication of mucus and the color yellow indicates the body has collected all of the toxins and is purging toxins. It's important to avoid spicy or fried foods to keep the heat out of the body.

  • Smokers cough

    Also known as a deep dark heavy hoarse cough in TCM, this usually comes from someone that has a deep hoarse voice or chronic deep cough have very dry, weak, and exhausted lungs. Lung Qi is important for descending and dispersing Qi throughout the body so in general, people with prolonged Lung Qi deficiency may also feel very exhausted because every breath they take cannot actually bring the blood to the farthest ends of the body.

  • Painful chest cough

    Similar to a smokers cough, there is a stabbing pain during a cough because the accumulation of Lung Qi stagnation is blocking proper circulation. We recommend seeking out your physician or TCM practitioner to relieve of these symptoms as soon as possible. 

  • Coughing up blood mucus

    Signs of blood mean excessive heat in the body. Before we said "yellow" is a sign of heat - but blood is the most intense kind. Also, signs of blood mean you have torn the meniscus at the back of the throat, which is a sign you have had a persistent cough for extended time. We recommend seeking out your physician or TCM practitioner to relieve of these symptoms as soon as possible.

Do you have a persistent cough or chest congestion and want to try Traditional Chinese Medicine? Feel free to book an introductory consult and we can help you develop a natural remedies for your specific type of cough.


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