How to Get Rid of Your Cough with TCM
The season has arrived when everyone seems to have a cough. Children are especially affected. Coughing can have many root causes like bacterial or viral infections, asthma, diabetes, air pollution, dry air, temperature difference and vocal strain. Many environmental factors make Shanghai residents more prone to coughs. Overall, we know that frequent coughing is a symptom of the presence of a disease. As the classification of a cough is diverse (acute, chronic, dry, productive, day or night cough), the identification of the root causes is the real challenge for doctors.
In the Western world, coughing is mostly treated with medication that will stop the symptoms quickly without even looking at the underlying causes. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, examines the body more in detail. In general, coughing is caused by the imbalance of the body’s energy and the abnormal Qi activity inside the lungs. Coughing is usually not the patient’s only symptom at that time. Accompanying symptoms help TCM practitioners in finding the part of the body that is the root of the problem.
For example, if nausea comes with coughing, the root cause is often going to be found in the liver system. Rib pain is also an indicator for the disease being located in the liver area. If the patient needs to urinate while coughing, the kidney is the root area. And, the symptoms of a common cold indicate the origin of the coughing is in the lung system.
According to this in-depth analysis, TCM doctors tailor a specific combination of treatments to cure the coughing which can include:
- Herbal formulas
- Specific beneficial nutrition, e.g. honey, pear, mushrooms, licorice.*
*TCM advises patients with a cough not eat to oranges, tangerines, or any chicken products like chicken soup.
Many root causes can be healed using these TCM treatments so that the patient’s symptoms will be alleviated permanently. In the long run, a good diet and a balanced lifestyle will support a healthy throat as well. This is essential in Shanghai, where our bodies are fighting off greater pathogenic factors in the environment due to pollution, climate and a high density population.