About the Illness

Coughing is not a sickness in itself, but a sign of many different sicknesses that can affect the throat, lungs, or bronchi (the network of air tubes going into the lungs).
Coughing is the body’s way of cleaning the breathing system and getting rid of phlegm (mucus with pus) and germs in the throat or lungs. If you have a cough you should find out what is causing it and treat the cause.


Common Symptoms

Dry cough with little or no phlegm:
Cold or flu, measles, worms (when they pass through the lungs).


Cough with much or little phlegm:
Asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia.


Cough with a wheeze or whoop and trouble breathing:
Asthma, whooping cough, something stuck in throat.


Chronic or persistent cough:
Asthma, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis.


Coughing up blood:
Pneumonia (yellow, green or blood-streaked phlegm), tuberculosis, severe worm infection.


Important Information

You should seek professional help immediately if:

  • Your cough is worsening and treatments don’t help, especially if it lasts more than 14 days.

  • You are coughing blood.

  • Your cough is accompanied by high temperature and cold shivers.

  • Your cough is accompanied by breathing difficulties.

  • Your cough is accompanied by tiredness and loss of appetite (you may have TB).

Herbal Therapy

Loosen the mucus by drinking one of the following hot teas as often as you like throughout the day:

Lemon Leaf Tea good for kids

Boil a few leaves in water and drink.


Lemon & Ginger Tea careful use for kids only

Cut 1 whole lemon and 1 piece of ginger root.
Cut both into pieces and bring to the boil.
Allow to cool to lukewarm, add 2 tbsp honey.


Spiced Tea careful use for kids only

Take ginger, black pepper corn, cloves and cinnamon and bring to the boil.
Then add tea leaves, honey and a small amount of milk to taste.


Ginger, Garlic, Lemon & Cinnamon Infusion careful use for kids only

Add crushed ginger and garlic, cinnamon, honey and a whole lemon cut into pieces to boiling water.
Allow to sit for a minute or so before drinking.


Try relieving the strain from coughing by taking steam inhalations twice a day.

Eucalyptus good for all

Place a handful of fresh leaves in a saucepan of boiling water.
Inhale the steam OR use eucalyptus oil extract in boiling water and inhale the steam.

Clematis hirsuta good for all

Prepare as above.

Zanthoxylum chalybeum good for all

Prepare as above.


You can also relieve coughing with one of the following cough syrups:

Maize Cob Ash Filtrate good for kids

Take 1 tbsp filtrate 3x daily (10-16 yrs: 1 tbsp 3x daily; up to 10 yrs: 1 tsp 3x daily).


Lemon with Filtrate good for kids

Cut a whole lemon into pieces then boil in a filtrate made from banana/bean ash.
Take 1 tbsp 3x daily (All children: 1 tsp 3x daily).

Food and Nutrition Advice

  • Drink lots of warm water and liquids. This loosens mucus better than any medicine.

  • Avoid all mucus-forming foods (dairy products, eggs and wheat).

  • Avoid omena, maize and sugary foods which make coughs worse.

  • Eat foods that will loosen the mucus (spinach, horseradish and red pepper).

Body Work and General Advice

You can try this breathing technique to help relieve a coughing fit:

  • Sit up straight, fold/cross your arms, holding your elbows with the opposite hand; hold your arms out in front of you at breast height; hold your breath and then start breathing again. This will stop shallow breathing and help you breathe deeply instead.


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