Cough – A View In Ayurveda

Cough – A View In Ayurveda

Cough is a reflex mechanism that constitutes sudden expulsion of air which helps eliminate foreign particles from the breathing passages and lungs. Common triggers are- viruses (irritate the lungs), allergies (lung tissues overreact), irritants like cold air, cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, etc, Acid reflux, postnasal drip.

A doctor’s attention is required immediately if it’s associated with breathing difficulties, chest pain, heartburn, coughing up blood, fever, or night sweats.

Common diseases where cough is a symptom includes- Flu/Influenza, Pneumonia, Whooping Cough, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, Heart Failure, Tuberculosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Lung Cancer.


In Ayurveda, cough is called Kaasa. Vata Dosha is expelled through the mouth producing a broken bronze vessel sound. It is considered as an independent disease as well as an associated symptom in many other diseases. Kaasa may be accompanied by symptoms like pain and discomfort in the chest, head, dryness of mouth, diminution of strength, bitter taste in the mouth, expectoration of yellow or whitish sputum, fever, anorexia, itching in the body.


– Avoid the cause.

– Purificatory Therapies- emesis, purgation, oil enemas

– Palliative Therapies- Internal medicines. Dhooma, Dhoopa

  • Purificatory therapies depending upon the Dosha helps in treating the condition from its root. The basic pathology will be tackled and thus an individual can find relief from his complaints. When there is excessive mucus and the cough is productive in nature, Vamana and Virechana benefit the patient. When there is little mucus and cough is drier in nature, Sneha Basti is beneficial.
  • Palliative therapy includes internal medicines in the form of decoctions, pills, Aasavas, and Arishtas (fermented preparations), and also mineral preparations.

Herbs of choice in Kaasa are-

Vaasa (Adathoda Vasica), Kantakaari (Solanum Xanthocarpum), Trikatu (Piper Longum, Piper Nigrum, Zingiber Officinale), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza Glabra).

For fumigation as well as inhalation (depends upon the type of Kaasa) –

Maricha (Piper Nigrum), Vamsha Vruksha (Bamboo), Pippali (Piper longum), Twak (Cinnamon), Bruhati (Solanum violaceum ), Karpasa (Gossypium herbaceum ), Vacha (Achorus Calamus), Haridra (Curucma longa), Vasa Patra

These drugs can be mixed with ghee and smoke can be inhaled to reduce cough.

Diet can include Kulattha yusha (Gruel of horse gram), Mulaka yusha (Raddish), Drumsticks. Milk processed with turmeric is beneficial rather than plain milk. Honey is sometimes beneficial when the cough is productive. However, in all conditions, hot water is best advised.

Immunity Boosters – Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Yashtimadhu, Tulasi, Amla in the form of Tea, or with honey strengthens the immune system to naturally fight against the invading foreign organisms and makes body no reactant to allergens.

The copyright of this article is owned by Ramaiah Indic Speciality Ayurveda

Prof (Dr) G G Gangadharan

RISA is a rare Ayurveda-based integrative health care center that brings together the best that traditional medicine (Ayurveda) and modern medicine (Allopathy) have to offer.  It is attached to the 700-bed Ramaiah Memorial Hospital located within the campus.. Read More

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