Cough is termed as ‘kasa‘ in Ayurveda. The term kasa is given because of the sound produced while coughing. (“kasanaat kasaha”). In the view of Allopathic medicine, cough is regarded as a reflex either as protective stimulus or due to any infection or allergies. According to Ayurvedic science, Kasa is due to derangement of vata dosha with or without kapha involvement.Click here to know more about signs of deranged vata and how to balance it. Ayurvedic treatment for cough requires proper diagnosis of the dosha involved.
Pathogenesis of cough according to Ayurveda:
Due to exposure to dust, smoke or excessive physical exercises, consumption of food that are too dry/stale, entery of foods into abnormal path other than the esophagus. Due to the etiological factors kapha gets aggravated and brings obstruction for the movement of vata in the chest region that aggravates prana vata and udana vata. As a result of this vata moves in the upward direction, afflicts the channels of circulation in the upper part of the body and gets lodged in the throat and chest. This agitated vata enters and fills up all the channels of the head,jaws, sides of the neck and eyes. Further it brings abot contraction ot the eyes, chest and the flanks and gives rise to cough with or without sputum. It is associated with pain and sound like that of a bronze vessel. Ayurvedic treatment for cough targets upon reducing the vata and breaking the chain of pathogenesis that leads to coughing.
Wholesome diet and regimens:
Ayurvedic treatment for cough is not only based of intake of medicines but also upon diet and lifestyle changes.
Intake of red variety of rice, wheat, Barley, Millets, Black gram, Green gram and horsegram are beneficial. SOup or meat of goat, old variety of liquor, old ghee, goat’s milk, brinjal, tender raddishes, Grapes, Lemon, cow urine, cardamom, garlic,poppy seeds, popped paddy, hareetaki, Trikatu , luke warm water, honey, Sleeping during the day time are beneficial.
Diet and drinks that are wholesome are substances like milk, sugarcane juice, preparations from Jaggery, curd, sour gruel, sour fruits in case of vata predominant cough. Meat soup of fish, crab or chicken is also beneficial in vata predominant cough.
Intake of sweet eatables, barley, Millets, soup of Mung bean and vegetables having bitter taste in appropriate quantity is useful for persons suffering from cough of pitta origin.
Intake of food that are pungent in taste, powder of trikatu (black pepper. dry ginger and long pepper), honey, Spices like cardamom, garlic, cow’s urine are beneficial in cough of kapha origin.
Click here to know more herbal remedies for cough.
Unwholesome diet and regimens:
- Excessive Exercising /wrestling/ walking/ talking/ singing.
- Brushing teeth with powder
- Sun bathing
- Smelling of bad odours
- Exposing oneself to dust and smoke
- Intake of dry and stale food
- Suppression of the urge of coughing, belching or sneezing.
- Intake of tubers like potato, leaves of mustard plant
- Consumption of old rice soaked in water
- Drinking too much water
Ayurvedic treatment for cough (Panchakarma therapies):
The following measure are useful in any type of cough (kasa):
- Fomentation therapy (swedana)
- Purgation therapy (virechana)
- Emesis therapy (vomitting)
- Smoke therapy (dhommapana)
The following are to be avoided that can be harmful for a patient with cough:
- Enema therapy (Basti)
- Nasal therapy (Nasya)
- Blood letting therapy (Rakta mokshana)
Ayurvedic treatment for cough:
The first line of treatment in Ayurveda for cough when it is associated with phlegm is to remove the accumulation of phlegm. Ayurvedic medicine for cough with phlegm is Dasamoolakaduthrayam kashayam.
1. Sitopaladi churna 3-6 grams thrice daily with honey.
2. Kushmanda Rasayanam – 1 tsp twice daily with hoeny or warm water is beneficial in chronic cough.
3. Jivanamrtam rasayanam, for prevention of upper respiratory tract infection and to build the immune system. (not indicated for diabetic patients)