September 17, 2013 | Posted in Immune System, Respiratory

Inflammation of the airways results in cough, sometimes with production of phlegm, fever, wheezing, or chest tightness.  This article reviews different types of cough, but asthma is covered in a separate article.  See Asthma.


Rapid respiration and significant shortness of breath together mean the chest needs to be listened to by a medical professional, as they can signify pneumonia.

Croupy cough is barking in character and often helped with steam or cold night air.

Dry cough with no phlegm production is often related to inflammation of the trachea (tracheitis).

Spasmodic cough can come from whooping cough or other germs that mimic whooping cough.

Correct diagnosis is the basis for successfully choosing natural remedies to help with cough symptoms. Some coughs are in fact asthma, not an acute illness from a germ.

The purpose of the cough is to clear the airways of mucous. Being well-hydrated loosens mucous so all coughs can clear the mucous more easily. This is the basis of a lung specialist’s statement: the best cough syrup is water.

Basics for acute illness covers the need for the Big Three: warmth, rest, and cleansing. These are fundamental support for the immune system to be able to do its best, sometimes even if no remedies are used.

When the immune system is supported, an acute illness has a strengthening effect for overall health, similar to an exercise class that results in strengthened muscles long after the exercise class is over.

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Compresses play an important role.

  • Lemon chest compress helps the juicy bronchitis with copious phlegm;
  • lavender oil chest compress applied at bedtime calms nighttime cough spasms (it may be repeated during the daytime if needed);
  • the mustard chest compress or footbath draw irritation away from the inflamed lungs to the skin on the surface of the body on the chest, or down to the lower extremities.

General immune strengtheners are a first step to add, one from the mineral realm – Ferrum phos 6x – and one from the plant realm, such as Echinacea, Goldenseal, Astragalus, or Elderberry.

Mineral – ferrum:

  • Uriel Ferrum Phos 6x for adults 1/8 teaspoon of powder 3-4 times daily orally, or
  • Weleda Pharmacy Ferrum phos 6x for adults one tablet 3-4 times daily orally.

Some plant-source immune strengtheners:

  • True Botanica: Astragalus herbal tincture for adults 20 drops one to three times daily orally or
  • Elderberry Thyme syrup for adults 2 teaspoons three to four times daily orally or
  • Uriel Pharmacy: Echinacea Thuja cp for adults 10 pellets four times daily orally, or
  • Astragalus 1% for adults 10 drops orally three to four times per day orally.
  • Weleda Pharmacy: Echinadoron for adults one tablet four times per day orally, or
  • Echinacea essence, for adults 7 drops in ½ teaspoon of water three to four times daily orally.

Remedies for different types of cough are the next step.

To soothe and calm all types of cough:

  • True Botanica’s LungRoot Menthol for adults ½ teaspoon every 1-2 hours as needed orally, or Lung Root Lemon for adults one teaspoon three times daily orally.
  • Uriel Plantain Spruce Cough Syrup for adults one tablespoon every hour orally as needed.
  • Uriel Plantain Licorice tea for adults 1-2 teaspoons of herb steeped for 5 minutes, drunk one to three times per day.
  • Uriel Plantain beeswax ointment, regular or mild, for adults applied to the chest several times per day and covered warmly.
  • Uriel Archangelica eucalyptus ointment for adults applied to the chest several times per day and covered warmly addresses swollen lymph glands and cough.
  • Weleda Pharmacy Plantain beeswax compress for the chest for adults is warmed slightly to conform to the chest, and applied to the chest, and worn for a period of time.

To address croupy cough:

  • Uriel’s Bryonia Spongia for adults 10 pellets four times daily orally.

To address dry tickling cough:

  • Uriel Pyrite Salvia or Plantago Pyrite for adults 10 pellets four times per day orally.

To support the treatment of pneumonia:

  • Uriel Pulmo Echinacea or Pulmo Ferrum for adults 10 pellets four times per day orally.

To address spasmodic cough:

  • Uriel Cuprum aceticum D3 alternating with Drosera comp for adults 10 drops every two hours in alternation orally while awake AND
  • Apply a small amount of Uriel Rose copper ointment to the soles of the feet at bedtime, and the lavender oil chest compress. (see Lavender chest compress)


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Bronchitis in adults CAN be whooping cough w/o being recognized. People with bronchitis should not be around babies under one year of age, or women about to deliver a baby, unless the sick person has been on antibiotic in the erythromycin family for 5 days.

Pneumonia is diagnosed by auscultation (listening to the lungs with a stethoscope) and varies widely in severity.

Work with a wise, careful practitioner to help yourself, and protect the public health.

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