• Cough is a reflex that clears the throat and airways of secretions and foreign materials and is usually associated with a characteristic sound. However constant coughing causes discomfort and needs to be taken care of.
  • Cough may be present as a symptom in various medical conditions – common cold, rhinitis, pertusis, COPD etc.
  • Coughing transmits infection to others through air droplets such as TB, mumps, influenza, common cold etc.
  • In Ayurveda Cough is considered to be Kasa and is caused due to vitiated Vata and Kapha
  • Cough first detailed explanation is found in Charak Samhita (2nd century) written by Acharya Charaka. He is the one of the most ancient ayurvedic practitionerand is the author of most famous ayurvedic text Charak Samhita.

Types Of Cough

  • On the basis of onset and duration it can be:

Acute – When you are having cough for < 3 weeks, it is said to be acute. Its causes are cold or flu, exposure to irritants or allergens, pneumonia etc.

Sub acute -When coughing persists for 3-8 weeks, it is referred to as sub acute.  Medical conditions responsible for it are asthma, post infectious cough, bacterial sinusitis etc.

Chronic – When a person suffers from cough for  > 8 weeks, it is known as chronic cough. It is present in conditions such as GERD, COPD, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer etc.

  • On the basis of expectoration it is classified as:

Dry Cough : It means coughing without  phlegm or mucus. It is caused due to flu, cold, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, air pollutants etc.

Productive (Wet) Cough : When cough is present with expectoration of mucus, is said to be productive cough.It is present in following medical conditions – pneumonia, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis etc.


  • Acharya Charaka has mentioned Kasahar Mahakashaya – i.e. group of herbs that relieves cough (kasa).

Draksha – Vitis vinifera

Abhaya (Haritaki) – Terminalia chebula

Amalaki – Emblica officinalis

Pippali – Piper longum

Duralabha – Fagonia cretica

Karkatshrungi – Rhus succedanea

Kantakari – Solanum surattense

Vrushchira Boerhaavia diffusa (white variety)

Punarnava Boerhaavia diffusa (red variety)

Bhumyamalaki Phyllanthus niruri

Home Remedies

For Dry Cough

  • Take 2 glass of water and add 1tbsp cumin seeds, 3-5 cloves and some crushed cardamom pods. Boil and reduce to 1 glass and let it cool down. Filter the mixture, consume by adding 1tbsp of honey to it.
  • Take 2 glass of water and start boiling. Now add few basil leaves and ginger root pieces. Reduce to 1 glass and let it cool down. Filter the mixture, consume by adding 1tbsp of honey to it.

For Productive (Wet) Cough

  • Take 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp sugar candy, 3 tsp liquorice (Yasthtimadhu) powder, crush this this mixture and consume it 3-4 times a day.
  • Add 1 tsp honey to 1-2 tsp of ginger juice. Take 1 tsp of this mixture thrice a day.


Dry cough

Sitopaladi churna (powder) 2-3gms with 5ml ghee (clarified butter) and 2.5 ml honey two to three times a day.

Lavangadi vati – 1-2 tab two to three times a day.

Bresol Syrup or tablets – 2tsp syrup or 2 tab twice or thrice a day empty stomach i.e. ½ hour before meal or 1½ hour after meal.

Productive (Wet) Cough

Sitopaladi churna (powder) 2-3 gms with 1 gm Licorice (Yashtimadhu) powder and 2tsp honey two to three times a day.

Lavangadi vati – 1-2 tab two to three times a day.


Snehpana (Oleation)



Nasya (Nasal Medication)

Dhumpana (Medicated Smoking)

Do’s And Don’ts


  • Drink hot drinks.
  • Eat low fat meals.
  • In case of wet cough, use steam inhalation to loosen mucus.


  • Keep clear of eating cold, irritating, oily food items.
  • Avoid exposure to smoke and dust.
  • Don’t use mosquito repellents and pesticides, if it is causing cough.

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