Homeopathy for Cough

This post on homeopathy for cough is the third in a series about how to use homeopathy at home in simple sicknesses.

I am breaking down common remedies over every day topics to show how the same remedy can be used in a variety of needs, but also to make homeopathy more user friendly and more common in home medicine cabinets.

Homeopathy can be very effective in treating the symptoms of an acute (came on with a sickness) cough, however, if you have a chronic (long lasting) cough it is best to book an appointment with a classical homeopath.

This post is for general informational and educational purposes only. See my full disclaimer here. In the event of an emergency or if you are concerned about your health or the health of the person you are caring for, always seek the help of a medical doctor, call your local health link, or head to the emergency room. 

These remedies are recommended for an uncomplicated cough. If you require medical treatment of any kind, remember that these remedies can be used alongside your prescription AFTER you have seen a health professional. It may be harder to tell if the chosen remedy is working, but do your best to find the right fit and you will support your body in it’s efforts to be well.

I have the flu with a cough. Which post should I read?

A cough can come up out of nowhere (as in croup), but is usually a symptom that accompanies or follows a cold or flu. I have separated cough into it’s own post, as it commonly is a symptom that can linger or be most bothersome.

If you have symptoms of a cold or flu and a cough, take a look through all applicable blog posts to see which remedy your symptoms are most similar to. Do not choose a remedy from this blog post that matches your cough, and a different remedy that matches your dripping nose, and a third that matches your aching body – your goal is to find ONE remedy that closely matches all of your particular, current symptoms.

If you find a remedy in a different blog that you feel is a really good match to most of what’s going on with you symptom-wise, try it out! Just because I have not mentioned it here as a cough remedy does not mean it could not help that symptom as well. Remember that these listed remedies are only some of the common homeopathic remedies that can help with your cough. There are way too many for me to list them all!!

Also, some times you need to change a remedy within your sickness. Maybe you were using a remedy from Homeopathy for the Common Cold which was providing relief, but then a cough developed and your symptoms have changed. You would no longer use the remedy you started with, but would look for a new remedy that fits your current symptom picture.

what to expect?

Coughs can be a very tricky symptom to help. Do not get discouraged if you are having trouble narrowing down the correct remedy. Maybe you chose a remedy and the cough did not disappear (though some might!), but all of the sudden your child can sleep all night again without waking up to cough – that’s an improvement! Watch for improvements big or small, and if you see something improve – keep going.

If you just cannot decide what to give, try a combination homeopathic cough syrup (I will share some that I have experience with at the bottom of this post).

Do you use homeopathy for every little complaint?

No! The body is amazing and has the power to overcome sicknesses on it’s own. Homeopathy can be a powerful tool to push your body in the right direction, towards a state of health, if maybe it got a little stuck. But if you have a cough, it isn’t really that bothersome and your body is fighting well enough on it’s own, I would personally just support the immune system with proper nutrition and healing foods (while making sure to avoid things such as sugar and mucous producing foods), lots of sleep and fresh air.


15 common homeopathic remedies for a cough (+3 cough syrup options)

aconitum napellus

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you were suddenly woken from sleep with a hoarse, dry, croupy cough
  • the cough is worse at night, after midnight
  • you may be short of breath
  • you are very thirsty with a dry mouth
  • you feel fearful, anxious and restless

This remedy is commonly given for the first stage of croup (first night only), bronchitis and pneumonia.

This remedy is made from the plant monkshood. Also known as “aconite.” Also see cold, flu.

antimonium tartaricum

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you have a loud, loose, rattling cough
  • some are unable to cough up the mucous, while others can easily cough up a lot of thick, yellow mucous which tastes sour or salty
  • you may find it difficult to breath while laying down, so must sit up
  • you feel anxious, restless and irritable
  • you feel better in a cool room with open windows

This remedy is made from tartar of antimony and potash.

arnica montana

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • cough with great aching and soreness in the body
  • you must hold your chest with each cough to help lessen the pain
  • a child may start to weep after each cough

This remedy is made from the plant leopard’s bane. See it’s use for the flu here and other uses here.

Belladonna

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • the barking cough appeared suddenly
  • your cough is forceful and dry with laryngitis
  • you have a severe headache with each cough
  • your face turns bright red with each cough
  • you feel as if you inhaled dust, causing the cough but each cough causes more irritation, thus more coughing

This remedy is made from the plant deadly nightshade. See it’s use in fever/flu here.

Bryonia

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your sickness started with a cold which moved to the chest
  • you have a dry cough which very painful and is worse when you move around
  • you hold your chest when coughing and breathing in an attempt to lessen the pain
  • you have a tickle in your throat which makes you cough
  • you cough with each movement or deep breath
  • you may have nausea, vomiting or a headache which accompanies the cough

This remedy is made from the plant wild hop. See it’s use in flu here and common cold here.

causticum

This remedy be be of use to you if some of the following is true:

  • a tickling sensation in your throat causes you to cough
  • your cough may disappear during the day
  • your voice may be hoarse
  • your chest feels raw and you have a pain in your hip
  • you feel like if you could cough just a bit harder you would be able to cough up mucous from chest
  • your cough is worse at night, while lying down and while talking

This remedy is made from potash sulfate and slaked lime.

drosera

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your cough is dry and “barking”
  • you are having coughing fits (coughs follow each other closely) which may end in vomiting
  • there’s a spasmodic tickle in the throat which causes the cough
  • your cough is worse when you’re lying down; starts as soon as your head hits the pillow
  • talking and cold drinks cause coughing

This remedy is made from the round-leaved sundew.

ferrum phosphoricum

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your symptoms came on slowly
  • you have a dry, hacking cough
  • your cough is worse from cold air, in the morning and after eating
  • your chest is heavy, sore and congested
  • you have lots of mucous in your throat and rattling in your chest
  • your voice is hoarse

Think of this remedy near the beginning of your illness.

This remedy is made from phosphate of iron. See it’s use in flu here.

Hepar Sulphuris Calcarea (hepar sulph)

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you have a barking, croupy cough; can be productive with thick yellow mucous
  • your cough is worse in the cold air, from breathing deeply and by eating or drinking something cold
  • you have lots of mucous in your chest, which you may or may not be able to cough up
  • you sweat during a coughing spell
  • you cough all night long
  • you feel very irritable

This remedy is often given as a third stage remedy for croup (or else Kali-bic) – after Aconite and Spongia.

This remedy is made from calcium sulphide.

Ipecacuanha (ipecac)

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you have a hacking, dry cough which may make you gag or vomit, without nausea
  • there’s a loose rattling in your chest
  • you feel a tickle in your throat, which causes your cough
  • you seem to cough with every breath
  • the cough is worse in the humidity, or when the weather is changing
  • you are drooling, possibly sneezing and sweating

This remedy has been referred to as “the cough that nags and gags.”

This remedy is made from the plant cephaelis ipecacuanha.

Kali bichromicum

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your cough is rattling
  • you are coughing up a lot of stringy, sticky, yellow mucous
  • you feel as though there is a hair in your throat, which causes coughing
  • it hurts to stick out your tongue
  • coughing up the mucous brings some relief, as does warmth
  • eating, drinking and coldness makes the cough worse
  • your voice may be hoarse and you are wheezing
  • you have pressure and heaviness in your chest

This remedy is not helpful at the beginning stages of a cough. It is often given as a third stage remedy in croup (or else Hepar Sulph), after Aconite and Spongia.

This remedy is made from bichromate of potassium. See it’s use in colds here.

phosphorous

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you have a dry, hard cough
  • you have a persistent tickle behind your sternum
  • the cough is worse while lying down, and when you cough at night you must sit up
  • you hold your chest to decrease the pain while coughing
  • your chest has a burning sensation
  • talking, moving around, going from warm to cold air and strong smells make the cough worse
  • laying down in warmth makes your chest feel less tight
  • you desire ice cold drinks

This remedy is made from phosphorous. Read about it’s use in the flu here.

pulsatilla

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your cough is dry during the day, and productive with yellow or green mucous at night
  • your cough sounds loose and rattling
  • your cough is worse in the warmth and when lying down (you must sit up to breath better)
  • you feel better in open or cool air, when you’re propped up on pillows and from gentle walking
  • you cough at night from post nasal drainage
  • your chest feels sore with lots of pressure
  • mental symptoms are most important in this remedy: you may be affectionate, clingy, moody, weepy, indecisive and craving affection and sympathy

This remedy is made from the wind flower. Read of its use for the common cold here and flu here.

rumex crispus

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • you have a dry, teasing cough which makes it difficult to sleep
  • your cough is extremely sensitive to cold air – you must hold something over your mouth so you don’t cough when you breath it in
  • you have an intense tickle in your throat and an irritation below your larynx
  • your cough is worse at night and when moving around
  • you feel better when you’re warm
  • your voice is hoarse

This remedy is made from the yellow dock flower.

spongia toasta

This remedy may be useful for you if some of the following is true:

  • your cough is dry, barking and croupy (like a seal’s bark, or like a saw through wood)
  • you have no mucous and your voice is hoarse
  • your cough is worse early in the night
  • your throat and chest burn with each cough
  • cold air, warm rooms, talking and cold drinks all can worsen your coughing
  • warm foods or drinks provide some relief to your cough, as do sucking on cough drops

This remedy is often used in second stage croup, following Aconite.

This remedy is made from roasted sponge from the sea.

cough syrups

When a company makes a homeopathic combination remedy (in this situation, a cough syrup), they select several remedies to try to cover the majority of symptoms that may be experienced in the illness. You will see that different companies have differing remedies (some being the same), so it can be confusing which to purchase! It helps to understand what each remedy may help with. If you plan on purchasing cough syrups instead of individual remedies, still read through the remedy information as it can help guide your choice.

Below are 3 common cough syrups by well known homeopathic manufacturers, and the remedies that are included in their formulations.

stodal cough by boiron

Day + night use ingredients: Antimonium tart, Bryonia, Coccus cacti, Drosera, Ipecac, Pulsatilla, Rumex, Spongia, Stricta pulmonaria

kids 0-9 by homeocan

Day time ingredients: Drosera, Arnica, Bryonia, Ipecac, Cetraria islandica, Belladonna , Coccus cacti, Stannum metallicum

Nighttime ingredients: same as day time, in addition to Chamomilla and Coffea cruda


cold ‘n cough by hylands 4 kids

Daytime ingredients: Allium cepa, Helar Sulph Calc, Hydrastis, Nat mur, Phosphorous, Pulsatilla, Sulphur

Nighttime ingredients: same as day time, in addition to Chamomilla and Coffea cruda


Don’t get overwhelmed! I know that was a large list (but I really didn’t even scratch the surface!). Pay extra attention to the special characteristics of the cough, things that make it better or worse, and anything “weird” that stands out.

Don’t forget to read through other blog posts for helpful tips on taking homeopathic remedies, or to be prepared for future illnesses!

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