We cough for numerous reasons, and therefore there are numerous treatments. Some of the reasons for coughing include:
- when the body is trying to release mucus or other obstacles in the throat;
- when the airways is irritated and inflamed;
- when the airway is narrowed and breathing is impaired;
- just prior to sleep because it can aid relaxation and help the transition to sleep;
- when a change is occurring in our ‘inner life’. This may or may not have a conscious emotional connection. For example we may be anxious about a family member, or we may have something in the back of our mind but have not brought it consciously into action.
- from strain on the adrenal system – such as over exertion or physical or emotional endurance
Anthroposophy sheds light on the cough’s attempt to establish equilibrium in the respiratory system. It is clear to me that suppressing a cough hinders or elongates this process. I therefore try to find a treatment that will assist the person through the process rather than removing the process.
All of the therapeutic applications used in anthroposophic medicine have a treatment time and a rest time of equal duration. This same guide applies to illness and rehabilitation. One week of coughing is followed by one week of rehabilitation. The rehabilitation is the time that we integrate the development that was occurring through sickness. Hold this time with the same gesture of care as through sickness. This can mean staying home from school, work and leisure for a duration post the symptoms subsiding. And the person(s) taking responsibility in the role of home health carer recognise that to provide the most health-giving care to someone while they develop through an illness, we too can be asked to develop new capacities such as patience and courage.
Within the website are various applications that I may prescribe depending on the symptoms.
The therapeutic applications in this first list can be used safely without a prescription. Though of course always use care and common sense. They can be used at the first sign of a tickle in the throat or chest and continued if symptoms progress.
- Herbal Teas
- Chamomile Steam Inhalations
- Beeswax Chest Compress
- Lemon Throat Compress
- Yarrow Liver Compress
This second list require more caution in how they are chosen and used. The instructions are provided for those who have been led to the site to fulfil a home healthcare prescription that has been made by me or one of my colleagues in private consultation or at a workshop.
It is best to consult if specific guidance on chronic or acute coughs is required.