Contrary to the view taken by common thought, the cough is a valuable protective reflex that the body puts in place to quickly free up the airways clogged with a "plug" of mucus. In the classic respiratory infections such as colds and flu, normal breathing is hampered by large mixed mucus buildup in bacteria: the cough reflex - that it favors the expulsion of these infected secretions - is essential to speed up the healing of the disease basis.
Drugs against the cough
Although this provides a really annoying and irritating condition (both for the patient and for those around him), the cough is NOT to be choked with antitussive drugs. These drugs - widely used for the control of dry cough - would hinder the physiological and natural removal of bacteria trapped in the mucus, dilating the healing time, or even worse, by encouraging the proliferation of pathogens.
In the presence of cough, the antitussive / narcotic drugs - like codeine and dextromethorphan - are strongly contraindicated because it would slow down the physiological removal of the infected mucus.
Let us briefly recall that the cough is not a disease; rather, it must be interpreted as a common symptom in different borne respiratory diseases. That said, it is understandable that the care of the underlying condition proves nothing short of essential to ward off coughs.
However, your doctor may recommend or prescribe certain drugs to encourage the fluidity of mucus in some occasions, in fact, the consistency of the mucus "glued" to the airway is so thick and viscous as to make it difficult to eject from the mouth with a cough. In these cases, the elimination just because they act at the level of the mucus proteins, shattering.
The mucolytics medications should not be given to children younger than two years, since they can increase the risk of bronchial obstruction, especially young children.
Even expectorants medications can be taken to facilitate the expulsion of the secreted mucous excess: for this purpose, are indicated the saturated solutions of potassium iodide and of ipecac extracts.
In the presence of a confirmed bacterial sovrinfezione, next to treatment with mucolytics, the patient will have to follow a specific antibiotic therapy to facilitate the removal of the pathogen involved in the infection. Taking antibiotics leads to an inevitable weakening of the immune system: therefore, to strengthen the body's natural defense system, it is recommended to take yogurt with live lactic acid bacteria or supplement your diet with a probiotic.
Except for the forms related to infections, coughs fat does not necessarily require the administration of specific drugs.
However, to restrict healing time, you can take advantage of some natural remedies targeted: for this purpose, natural syrups and teas for coughs are probably the most popular alternative to absolute phytotherapy.
What are the natural active ingredients as indicated against the cough
The active molecules more useful to counter cough can be obtained from the following plants:
Plants from the action expectorant (eg. Eucalyptus, licorice, grindelia, basil, saffron, coltsfoot, anise): useful for preventing the accumulation of phlegm and eliminate the excess accumulated in the airways.
Plants thinners (eg. Horehound, licorice): help remove mucous secretions reducing its viscosity.
Plants mucilaginous (marshmallow, mallow, Marubio, coltsfoot, linen, lime) and emollients (eg. Camomile): indicated when the fat and persistent cough goes to inflame the mucous membranes of the throat.
immunostimulant plants to strengthen the immune system (eg. echinacea, astragalus, Siberian ginseng, cat's).
To facilitate the fluidification of the mucus in a natural way, the fumigations are extremely effective, especially if enriched with essential oils from sputa properties.
Although nutrition is important when presenting cough: in such circumstances, you should prefer hot foods such as soups, broths and milk (sweetened with honey) to soften the irritated mucous membranes of the throat and promote the smooth flow of mucus. Even fruits and vegetables, naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, are also recommended, and especially during the flu.
the type of cough, for example:
indicated for cough accompanied by foul-smelling mucus that is expectorated with difficulty
Coccus cacti, indicated for cough with thick phlegm, which may be accompanied by vomiting
Ferrum Phosphoricum, indicated for cough, painful or itchy, possibly in conjunction with emotisi (blood issuing from the mouth)
Ipecacuanha, indicated for cough accompanied by vomiting and breathing difficulties
It is always recommended to strictly follow the instructions provided by the homeopath and avoid in the most absolute self-therapy.
practical advice and prevention
The most powerful therapy against cough is prevention from infection: it is therefore recommended to avoid any possible outbreak situation, such as the crowded places and contact with a person affected. To minimize the risk of dependent respiratory infections, it is recommended that appropriate clothing to outdoor temperatures: for this purpose, during the months more rigid it is good to cover well with scarves, hats and coats before going outside .
Also keep the environment in which they live and work at the right humidity (40-60%) proved to be important in preventing cough: for this, you should always use humidifiers, especially during the cold months.
Still, strengthen the immune system may be an additional protection against infection: in this case, a diet rich in antioxidant foods, fruits, vegetables, probiotics and lactic ferments can only be a blessing for the body.
In the presence of cough, then it recommended not to swallow the phlegm: an attitude similar favors the permanence and proliferation of bacteria along the respiratory tract.
Although discounted, these hygienic standards of conduct are needed to protect the body from infectious agents and flu illnesses that may cause coughing.
When you call for help
The cough is a very common phenomenon and recurrent in both sexes and in all age groups, from infants to the elderly.
However, it is good to pay attention to the signs and symptoms that accompany the cough so as to distinguish a "common" form a pathological cough.
Below are listed the warning symptoms that can hide a dangerous disorder:
The sputum is bloody
The cough is accompanied by high fever and breathing difficulties
The cough only at night appears
The cough is accompanied by symptoms such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), headaches, rashes or obvious loss of weight
The cough occurs in a patient with hypertension, asthma, heart disease or glaucoma
The productive cough lasts more than 5 days