Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Cough

What Is Cough?

whatiscough?

Cough - Basics

A cough is the body's reaction to irritants in the airways, which carry air to and from the lungs. When the lungs become irritated, the nerve endings in the airways react by clearing out the lungs--or coughing. Often, coughing is a symptom of a larger medical issue such as acid reflux disease, an upper respiratory infection, asthma or a common cold.

Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for coughing.

What Patterns Are Related To Cough?

whatpatternsarerelatedtocough?

Cough - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of cough generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of cough:

Lung Dampness - Phlegm ColdLung Dampness - Phlegm HeatLung DrynessLung Qi DeficiencyLung Wind Invasion - Wind ColdLung Wind Invasion - Wind HeatLung Yin Deficiency

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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Cough?

whichacupuncturepointprotocolsmaybeappliedforcough?

Cough - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following acupuncture treatment protocols may be used with cough:

36 Points Are Empirically Important For Cough

24 TCM Herbs Are Potentially Used With Cough

Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Cough

The Following (14)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Cough

Bai He Gu Jin Wan (Lily Bulb to Preserve the Metal)

Clinical Usages

  • General yin deficiency signs may present as night sweats, heat in the soles and palms, and flusing.
  • Cough/wheezing, possible blood in the sputum, dry and sore throat may present from lung yin and qi deficiency.
  • Useful for treating people who quit smoking or those with acute smoke exposure.

    Clinical Categorization

    Ban Xia Hou Po Wan (Pinellia & Magnolia Pills)

    Clinical Usages

    • Plum pit qi (globus hystericus) and/or difficulty with swallowing from liver qi stagnation.
    • Coughing, hiccups, nausea and possible vomitting from rebellious qi and phlegm.

      Clinical Categorization

      Cautions

        Use with caution in yin deficiency or with patients with signs of liver yang rising

          Bu Fei Er Jiao Wan (Tonify the Lungs Formula with Gelatin)

          Clinical Usages

          • Lung yin deficiency with strong heat signs and/or bleeding - chronic dry cough, wheezing, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, COPD.
          • Stops bleeding when it arises from lung yin deficiency - mild bloody sputum with dry cough.

            Clinical Categorization

            Cautions

              • Avoid in patients with wind-cold (i.e. "common cold").
              • Avoid when there are profuse amounts of blood in the sputum.
              • Avoid, or use with caution, in patients with stomach and/or spleen deficiencies, particularly with phlegm accumulation.

                Ding Chuan Wan (Calm Wheezing Pills)

                Clinical Usages

                • Directs the lung qi downward and clears phlegm heat from the lungs.  Typically used for the condition of wind cold blocking the exterior with internal accumulation of phlegm heat - which may involve symptoms such as the common cold, bronchitis, asthma - with wheezing, cough with thick sticky yellow phlegm that is difficult to get out, rapid shallow breathing, difficulty breathing. 
                • Conditions may be acute or chronic.

                  Clinical Categorization

                  Cautions

                    • Generally avoided in patients that present with yin or qi deficiency.

                      Er Chen He San Zi Yang Qin Wan (Two Aged Herbs & Three Seeds Nursing Pills)

                      Clinical Usages

                      • Modified version of er chen wan - formula for clearing phlegm in both acute and chronic cases - seasonal colds and flus with phlegm, chronic wet cough, sinus issues and more physical signs such as dizziness, meniere's with the right causal factors.

                        Clinical Categorization

                        Er Chen Wan (Two Aged Herbs)

                        Clinical Usages

                        • The primary base formula to resolve phlegm damp, particularly in the lungs and GI system - cough (with white mucus), plugged ears, sinus blockage - along with GI symptoms of nausea, vomiting.
                        • Upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD - when arising from phlegm damp.
                        • Phlegm accumulation in the head symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, meniere's disease, alcohol hangover.
                        • Cysts from phlegm accumulation - fibroids, breast cyst, ovarian cyst, thryoid cysts, goiter. 

                          Clinical Categorization

                          Cautions

                            • Avoid in patients with yin deficiency - i.e. cough from dryness.

                              Gan Mao Ling (Miraculous Cold Pills)

                              Clinical Usages

                              • Common cold and flu patterns, particularly at the early stages.
                              • Can be used in lieu of actual bacterial or viral infection as long as flu or cold like symptoms are manifest.

                                Clinical Categorization

                                Mai Men Dong Yin Zi Wan (Ophiopogon and Trichosanthes Combination)

                                Clinical Usages

                                • Lung and stomach yin deficiency - this is a modified version of Mai Men Dong Tang - fei wei (lung atrophy) syndrome in Chinese Medicine - dry cough from yin fluid damage, generally arises from deficiency fire rising from the stomach yin deficiency.  
                                • A range of digestive issues - nausea, vomiting, counterflow qi, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease.
                                • Acute or chronic lung issues - bronchitis, dry cough - particularly with other yin deficiency signs (malar flush, heat in the five palms, etc.)
                                • Sjogren's syndrome - when other underlying diagnostic factors are a good fit.

                                  Clinical Categorization

                                  Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan (Clear the Qi and Transform Phlegm Pill)

                                  Clinical Usages

                                  • Cough with thick yellow or green phlegm, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and possible fullness of the chest due to damp heat accumulation in the lungs.

                                    Clinical Categorization

                                    Sha Shen Mai Dong Wan (Glehnia and Ophiopogonis Decoction)

                                    Clinical Usages

                                    • Important formula for stomach yin deficiency - benefits the stomach and the lungs - a range of digestive issues (gastritis, epigastric pain), possibly with dry throat, thirst and/or cough.
                                    • Diabetes - particularly with signs of dryness.
                                    • A range of lung related issues - lung cancer, pneumonia, cough/wheezing.

                                      Clinical Categorization

                                      Sheng Mai San Wan (Generate the Pulse Pills)

                                      Clinical Usages

                                      • Respiratory issues from lung qi and yin deficiencies - chronic cough, wheezing.
                                      • May be used for damage from longer term illnesses and/or the overuse of wind clearing formulas for colds/flus - nightsweats, spontaneous sweating.
                                      • With the right underlying patterns a range of respiratory and coronary issues.

                                        Clinical Categorization

                                        Sheng Mai Yin Wan (Replenish Pulse Pills)

                                        Clinical Usages

                                        • Dry mouth, dry skin, dark or scanty urine from yin and fluid deficiency.
                                        • Fatigue, shortness of breath, and spontaneous sweating.

                                          Clinical Categorization

                                          Cautions

                                            • Use with caution for patients that present with heat signs.

                                              Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan (Perilla Fruit Pill to Direct Qi Downward)

                                              Clinical Usages

                                              Cough with watery, copious sputum, breathing issues such as wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath (particularly difficulty inhaling), chest oppression.  Possibly signs of kidney qi/yang deficiency such as edema, weak low back and/or legs, fatigue.

                                              The Tongue will have a white coating that can be either greasy or slippery.

                                                Clinical Categorization

                                                Xiao Qing Long Wan (Minor Blue Dragon Pills)

                                                Clinical Usages

                                                • Cold/flu like symptoms such as aversion to cold, cough, clear watery phlegm -from exterior wind cold invasion.
                                                • Wheezing, heavy sensation, edema due to interior water accumulation.

                                                  Clinical Categorization

                                                  Cautions

                                                    • Not meant for long term use.

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