by Dr. Randy
During the winter, coughs abound. Cold rainy weather and winter snows tend to irritate the airways. This stress makes people more susceptible to viruses. Then the viral illness dries and irritates the throat and branches of the bronchial tree, triggering inflammation and coughing.
Coughs are usually worse at night because the body’s production of the anti-inflammatory hormone (cortisol) is at its lowest point at night, and then inflammation in the airway kicks in then. Once there is this propensity for the airway to develop irritation and inflammation it tends to recur with the stress of cold air, heaters, and winter viruses. So it comes back year to year.
Anything that fortifies the immune system will help to prevent viral illnesses (colds, sore throats, and coughs). Vitamin D3 is an essential supplement in the darker winter months. A child’s dose is 1,000 IU per 10 lbs of body weight up to 5,000 IU. The adult dose is 5,000-10,000 IU. Taking a D3 supplement that contains vitamin K will help absorption. Other immune system activators include medicinal mushrooms, astragalus, colostrum, whey protein, probiotics, and arabinogalactan. Vitamin C is important. And elderberry (Sambucus) is a potent antiviral, and it’s not a bad idea to take it preventively in the winter, but especially at the onset of any cold symptoms.
What to do
Stay warm. Eat warm foods (soups, stews, and warm drinks). Cold foods tend to make coughs worse.
Many homeopathic remedies can be helpful in coughs.
Bryonia for dry coughs accompanied by headaches, body aches, and aggravation of symptoms from any motion. It is especially useful if the person feels warm, thirsty, and wants cold air.
Rumex for spasmodic coughs that are worse lying down and worse from cold air.
Ipecacuanha treats loose coughs with congestion in the chest and gagging or vomiting with cough.
Drosera fits barking coughs (like a seal) that occur during the night.
Kali-carbonicum for dry coughs at 2:00 or 3:00 AM. These people want to sit up to relieve the cough and keep the windows open for fresh air.