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中医, cough is caused by external pathogens such as wind or heat. While most people usually recover from cough within a week or two, some cough can last for a few weeks even after other symptoms that are usually associated with cough such as sore throat has cleared. 

While a cough does not disrupt your daily life, it can be very annoying and unpleasant especially if you have an upcoming meeting. Coughing in the middle of an important meeting and having everyone looking at you is the last thing anyone of us would want. 

What is the cause of cough? 

According to TCM, there are six categories of pathogens that can cause a cough. The six are Wind, Cold, Dampness, Heat, Dryness and Fire. It is usually a combination of two of these external pathogens that leads to a cough. Through a diagnose and observing the characteristics of the cough, a TCM physician would be able to determine the root cause of the cough and form a treatment plan to treat the cough. 


3 Main Types Of Cough


Wind-heat cough is characterized by thick yellow phlegm with loud breathing sound. Patients with wind-heat cough avoid cold foods, sweets, chocolates as well as other heaty food that can worsen the cough. 


Cough is usually accompanied by runny nose, with white nasal discharge or phlegm. Patients diagnosed with wind-cold cough need to avoid cold foods and drink plenty of hot tea. 


Usually accompanied by sore throat with dry lips. If phlegm is present, it is usually sticky instead of thin and runny. Wind-dry cough is usually a result of working or being exposed to a dry environment, such as working in an air-conditioned office for long hours. Smoking can cause chronic wind-dry cough too. 

TCM supplements can also help to treat cough whether it’s acute or chronic. 全连“速效止咳灵胶囊” combine herbs designed to clear heat from the Lunngs, eliminating phlegm and relieving cough. Fel Serpentis (She Dan) and Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (Chuan Bei) are the main Chinese herbs in this herbal formula. These two herbs are effective in nourishing the lung and reducing persistent cough.


While cough itself is not contagious, a cough often signals underlying issues such as virus or bacterial infections that may be contagious by airborne droplets. Whether your cough is acute or chronic, it’s best to get checked out by your family doctor for treatment.