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Chronic cough can be a very frustrating and uncomfortable problem. Sometimes classic, modern medicine just does not seem to help with it, and after taking the expectorants, suppressants, antibiotics and all kinds of other medicines, the cough is still there. In cases like these it may be the time to turn to the Oriental medicine.

One of the biggest differences between Oriental and Western medicine is that in the West people see a problem, like cough, as a symptom of another disease, while Oriental medicine sees the disease as a symptom and not the cause of the problem. This is because it understands that all the health problems result from the lack of internal stability of the body, or homeosthasis. This type of medicine allows the body to heal itself. It triggers the body’s natural healing mechanisms, the immune system starts working better and the disease goes away.

Causes of a cough

A cough can result from a cold or flu that has not been cured properly in the early stages. Lung infections, of course, are among the principal causes of cough, but it can also result from a less known cause, which is emotional stress, especially feelings of anxiety, frustration or resentment.

The diet can be a factor too, especially if it is rich in foods that increase phlegm production.

Some long-term illnesses may cause the weakening of the immune system and of lung function and lead to cough.

Treatment of cough

Oriental medicine uses different ways to regain the balance in the body and to allow the body to heal. This can be obtained through acupressure, use of herbs, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.

Different herbs are used for different types of coughs. For dry, non-productive cough the herbs which are recommended are Sang Chu Pian or Gu Ben Wan. For painful “barking” cough with little phlegm the herbs are Ching Fei Yi Huo and Li Fei, while the herbs used for chronic cough with lots of phlegm are Pinellia root, Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan, and others. All these herbs are available from different brands.

Acupressure can be very effective against cough and the appropriate points depend in the type of cough the patient is suffering from. Acupressure is best done by a professional who knows exactly which point correspond to specific problems.

As for the diet, it is a known fact that some foods are not suitable for people who suffer from chronic cough. They either increase the production of phlegm or cause dryness of the lungs. Those foods include dairy products, sugary foods, alcohol, spicy, hot and greasy food.

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