respiratory health

Remedies for Cough

More than a disease in itself, the cough is a defensive reflex of the organism due to irritation of the respiratory mucosa: the cough occurs when a foreign substance or particle comes into contact with these mucous membranes, obstructing the airways.

Many causes can trigger cough: allergies, aortic aneurysm, AIDS, COPD, bronchitis, embolism, cystic fibrosis, smoking, flu, laryngitis, meningitis, pneumonia, rhinitis, sinusitis, cancer of the esophagus and lung, varicella.

Cough may or may not be accompanied by sputum: therefore, cough can be distinguished from dry cough.

What to do

  • Keep the environment at the right humidity (40-60%): in the cold months, use humidifiers or apply a wet rag over the radiator
  • Avoid polluted places and smoking rooms
  • Cover well before leaving home with scarves and heavy clothing (during the winter months and in the intermediate seasons)
  • In the case of cough associated with nasal congestion (stuffy nose), fluidize the mucus using nasal vaporizers
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations as much as possible
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Cover your mouth with your hand or a handkerchief before coughing
  • If blood leaks out after a cough, call a doctor immediately.

What NOT to do

  • Swallow the phlegm
  • Smoking: smoking, both passive and active, seems to inhibit the immune defenses, predisposing the subject to infections
  • Smoking in the car or at home
  • Attend crowded places: the risk of getting infections in the respiratory tract increases
  • Keep the environment at 40% lower humidity: in similar conditions, the ability of the respiratory mucous membranes to purify the inhaled air is inhibited
  • Put your hands in your mouth
  • Take antibiotics without a prescription

What to eat

  • Follow a healthy and balanced diet, free from excess
  • Take hot drinks, such as tea, hot milk, broths, soups, useful to facilitate the fluidization of the mucus
  • Hot milk mixed with honey is a very ancient remedy, useful for softening the mucous membranes of the throat (irritated by coughing) and favoring the fluidization of the mucus
  • Take large portions of fruit and vegetables as foods rich in antioxidants (especially vitamin C and vitamin E)
  • The onion is included in the list of "medicine foods": it has disinfectant, decongestant and expectorant properties

What NOT to Eat

  • If the cough is accompanied by nasal congestion, it is advisable to avoid alcohol: it seems that alcohol can worsen the swelling of the nasal mucosa

Natural Cures and Remedies

  • Natural cough remedies are a great alternative to classic drugs. The active ingredients can be used in infusion (infusion to drink) or inhaled in the form of steam (suffumigio):
    • Anise ( Pimpinella anisum L.) → balsamic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory properties, effective remedy for oily cough
    • Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus globulus Labill) → anti-inflammatory, expectorant, balsamic, antiseptic and antiviral properties: remedy indicated for oily cough. Indicated as a suffumigio
    • Farfara ( Tussilago farfara ) → antitussigenic, expectorant and calming properties
    • Horehound ( Marrubium vulgare L) → mucolytic natural remedy and cough sedative
    • Mallow ( Malva sylvestris) → epithelium-protective properties, anti-inflammatory of the mucous membranes, excellent remedy for dry cough (infusion)
    • Licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra ) → expectorant, mucolytic properties
    • Poppy ( Papaver somniferum ) → powerful antitussive properties, comparable to codeine and dextromethorphan
    • Piantagine ( Plantago lanceolata ) → sedative, anticatarral properties
    • Tiglio ( Tilia cordata ) → mucilaginous drug with protective properties of pharyngeal and tracheobronchial mucosa. Excellent remedy for dry cough (infusion).

Pharmacological care

The cure for cough depends on the underlying cause:

  • Allergic cough: the ideal treatment consists of antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (eg Aliserin)
  • Oily cough should be treated with:
    • antitussive-expectorants, such as Guaifenesina (eg Vicks Tosse Fluidific) or Benzonatato (eg Tessalon)
    • mucolytics, such as acetylcysteine ​​(eg Fluimucil), bromexina (eg Bisolvon Linctus)
  • For cough dependent on chronic bronchitis, narcotic analgesics are recommended. For example: codeine (eg Codein, Hederix Plan), dextromethorphan (Es. Aricodiltosse), Hydromorphone (eg Jurnista)
  • Antibiotic therapy is recommended for cough dependent on bacterial infections. The drugs most used for this purpose are:
    • Tetracycline (eg Tetrac C), for chlamydial or mycoplasma infections
    • Flucloxacillin (eg Flucacid) for streptococcal infections
    • Clarithromycin (eg Biaxin), for Haemophilusinfluenzae infections


  • Not smoking
  • Avoid any possible contagion situation, especially in case of suspicion of diseases affecting the respiratory tract

Medical treatments

  • The cough does not require any specific medical treatment, unless it is an expression of pathologies that require it (eg esophageal cancer, pleural tumor, lung cancer)