Remedies for dry and productive coughs

A cough is not an illness. It is a symptom of an underlying cause that needs to be identified in each case.

A cough can be a symptom of a cold, bronchitis, digestive or heart problems or can even be emotionally-related.

In order to choose the right homeopathic medicine, we need to answer a number of questions:

Is it dry or productive? When did the cough start? Is it continuous or sporadic? What has caused it – is it brought about by an infection, emotions or allergy? Do you have a fever?

We recommend a few of the most significant medications:

Dry, recent coughs

Aconicum, Belladona and Bryonia

Aconitum, Belladona and Bryonia are all apt for the treatment of dry, recent coughs that present with a fever. With Aconitum, the fever is established suddenly and the patient feels extremely thirsty and anxious.

With Belladona, the fever is high and sudden and facial sweats appear. With Bryonia, the fever is moderate and the onset is gradual – when the patient coughs, the pain he feels is so intense that he needs to clasp the affected area.


Sambucus is a useful homeopathic remedy for treating coughs that are accompanied by a blocked nose.

The patient wakes up with a start and has sudden breathing difficulties along with feelings of compression and choking.

It is a good remedy for the treatment of dry coughs with a blocked nose in infants who are struggling to breathe and breastfeed.


Spongia tosta is prescribed for coughs that homeopathy likens to “the sound of a saw cutting through a plank of pinewood”. The patient’s mucous membranes feel like they are burning and raw.

The patient worsens towards midnight and feels like his larynx is being obstructed, which distresses him. The cough is soothed by drinking water.

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera is prescribed for dry coughing fits that occur at night, as soon as the patient lies down. The cough is accompanied by laryngitis, hoarseness and a bloody nose.

Dry coughs that have persisted over a week

If the cough is prolonged, you must consult a physician. The cough may be due to gastric reflux, a heart condition or due to the presence of a foreign body or a tumour.

Rumex cripus

Rumex cripus is recommended for coughs that occur as a result of breathing in cold air or are aggravated by breathing in cold air.


Causticum is prescribed for coughs with laryngotracheal pain. There is a burning feeling and the patient feels as though there is an open sore in the trachea. The cough is dry, painful and exacerbated by cold air.


Manganum is given for a dry cough that accompanies chronic laryngitis. The larynx is dry, reddened and irritated. Patients continually clear their throat.

Mucus cough

Kalium bichromicum

Kalium bichromicum is effective in violent coughs that become worse at night, when undressing or between two and three o’clock in the morning.

This is followed by coughing up thick, yellowish-green and sometimes bloody phlegm.


With Ipeca, the cough is productive and so intense that it leads to vomiting. The patient feels a tickling and irritation of the larynx.

Antimonium tartaricum

Antimonium tartaricum can help us to improve dry, very productive coughs where the patient finds it difficult to expectorate thick phlegm. Antimonium tartaricum is the medicine that is used for the treatment of bronchitis.

The patient feels better after expectorating and sitting upright.

Emotionally-related coughs

Ambra grisea

Ambrea grisea is usually triggered by shyness, for example due to public speaking.

Ignatia amara

Ignatia coughs are spasmodic and nervous and develop when the person is distressed. They always appear in the daytime – never at night or is the patient is distracted or busy.

Hyoscyamus niger

Hyoscyamus coughs are dry and nervous and usually appear at bedtime, forcing the sufferer to get up again.

Foto: Clarissa S /

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