Last modified on January 3rd, 2019



A cough is usually a symptom of some affections of the lungs, bronchial tubes, or throat. In that case the chapters on BRONCHITIS, CONSUMPTION, and INFLAMMATION OF THE LUNGS must be consulted. But often a cough is the whole of the disease, and is due to irritation or irritability of the air passages, which does not amount to inflammation. General Treatment.-Persons who are constantly catching colds and getting coughs should adopt the measures recommended for the prevention of colds. Cold sponging, followed by brisk rubbing; warm, but not too warm clothing, and open-air exercise are all helpful. It is not necessary to stay indoors always for a cough. Rubbing the chest with olive oil or (especially in children) cod- liver oil is good. Cold drinks if desired; gum water, and hot milk with water, and linseed tea may be taken in any quantity. Pasty and rich or spiced food must be avoided.

Medicines.-The types of cough are endless, but for the most characteristic of them the corresponding medicine will be found in the following list :-

Aconite. 3.-

A dry irritating cough, tickling in the larynx (Adam’s apple), the beginning of a cold.

Nux. v. 3.-

Dry cough with rough scraping raw sensation in the throat, oppressed breathing at night; in those who indulge much in coffee or spirituous drinks; asthma.

Hyoscy. 6.-

Dry cough, worse at night, coming on as soon as patient lies down.

Caustic. 6.-

Protracted dry short cough; or hollow cough; burning or excoriating pain in chest and windpipe; urine escapes whilst coughing.

Bryonia. 3.-

Dry cough commencing with tickling in throat; comes on after eating and causes vomiting; cough begins as soon as patient enters warm room; stitch in side; comes on in morning on first moving about, with expectoration then. Cough with shooting pains in head, throat, and chest. Hard shaking cough which causes pain in the head and abdomen. Cough in the evening and at night without expectoration.

Ipecac. 3.-

Cough of children when mucus almost suffocates them. Spasmodic cough, face becomes purple and limbs stiff. Dry cough with tickling sensation in larynx. Cough causing nausea and vomiting of mucus. Walking in cold air makes the cough worse.


Spasmodic cough excited by constant insupportable tickling in larynx, without phlegm on the chest; cough barking.

Mercurius 6.-

Dry cough exhausting and shaking the patient, more especially at night; hoarseness, fluent coryza.

Cina 3.-

Dry cough, at times accompanied by expectoration of mucus; in children, who start suddenly, especially if they have worms. Fluent catarrh, burning sensation in nose; children object to being touched.

Pulsatilla 3.-

Cough ceasing in open air, violent in warm room; cough dry in the beginning, then attended with expectoration of mucus, which is easily raised; in the morning much yellow, salt, bitter, disgusting expectoration, sometimes accompanied by retching; cough loose by day, dry and tickling at night, compelling the patient to sit up and coming on as soon as he lies down; rough feeling in windpipe, soreness of abdomen and sides as from a bruise, or shooting pains in arm, shoulder, and back; urine escapes whilst coughing.

Arsen. 3.-

Loose cough with but little expectoration; cough difficult and causing constriction of the chest; coughing each time after drinking; cough during the night, with spitting of blood and burning heat all over the body, want of breath, extreme fatigue and weakness. Every evening dry cough which is very weakening, oppression of chest on going upstairs and into cold air; palpitation and agitation during the night.

Sulph. 3.-

Chronic dry cough from tickling in the throat coming on in the afternoon and continuing till towards midnight; cough only during the night, preventing the patient from sleeping; dry cough during the night, with yellow, greenish, offensive expectoration of thick mucus, pus, and blood during the day; cough which seems to tear the chest under the sternum; when coughing, single stitches in the chest or under the ribs on the right side; feeling as if the chest would burst when coughing or sneezing; the chest feels narrow and full, difficulty of breathing, whistling and rattling in the chest, palpitation of the heart, the patient is obliged to sit up during the night.

Cough attended by a crushing pain in the head, blackness before the eyes, heat in head, neck, and face, but cold hands.

Calcarea carb. 6.-

Tedious cough caused by tickling or pain down the throat, so violent in evening and during the night that every blood-vessel throbs. Dry cough in the night during sleep; dry cough with pain or rattling in the chest, particularly in very fat children, when Ipecac. suits but does not suffice. Cough with copious expectoration, particularly during the day, lumpy, purulent, yellow, greenish, brown, so offensive as to cause vomiting; when coughing a stitch in side and chest and burning in the latter; tearing and shooting pains in the head; stitching pain in side when breathing deeply, when moving and bending. In the evening heat, then chills and thirst, night sweats, particularly on the chest; great weakness and much anxiety concerning the malady.

Lachesis 6.-

Cough excited by pressing the hand on the chest, the patient unable to bear anything about the neck, coughing during the night in his sleep; coughing as if something fluid had got into the windpipe; difficulty in expectoration. Cough much worse after meals, after sleeping, and after rising; is accompanied by pain in throat, ears, head, and eyes.

About the author

John Henry Clarke

John Henry Clarke

John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica

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