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Herbal Remedies for Acute Coughs - Dry-heat Type

TCM types of acute cough: Wind-cold Type | Wind-heat Type | Dry-heat Type

This condition consists of dry coughing, hoarseness, itchy and sore throat, dryness of the nose and mouth; the cough can have a little blood-tinged mucus, and be accompanied by cough-induced chest pain, chills or fever. The tongue tip is red and the coating looks yellow and dry, the pulse is slightly rapid. This type of cough is most common in autumn or when the humidity is low.

The remedy should clear heat and promote moisture in the lungs.

Sample prescription: Modified Mulberry and Apricot Decoction

In the prescription, the mulberry leaf and fermented soybean dispel the dry-heat evils through the body surface; the apricot kernel and fritillary bulb smooth qi flows inside the lungs to arrest coughing; ladybell root, pear and gardenia fruit clear heat and provide lubrication.

thunberg fritillary bulb
dried pear
gardenia fruit

Additional herbs may necessary when there are other obvious symptoms. For example:

When the drying symptoms are serious, extra moisture can be provided by herbs like:

yu zhu fragrant Solomonseal rhizome Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati
mai dong dwarf lily-turf tuber Radix Ophiopogonis

The severe heat symptoms can be relieved by herbs like:

shi gao gypsum Gypsum Fibrosum
zhi mu anemarrhena rhizome Rhizoma Anemarrhenae

If the itchy throat and cough are serious, then the prescription needs to further boost lung functioning as well as the dispelling ability by herbs like:

qian hu hogfennel root Radix Peucedani
chan tui cicada slough Periostracum Cicadae
jie geng balloonflower root Radix Platycodi
gan cao liquorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae

Coughing up blood can be arrested by herbs like:

sheng di rehmannia root Radix Rehmanniae
bai mao gen couch grass rhizome Rhizoma Imperatae

When the cough is accompanied by obvious chills, fever, headache and no sweating, some herbs can help in expelling cold evils from the body surface:

jing jie schizonepeta herb Herba Schizonepetae
fang feng ledebouriella root Radix Ledebouriellae
kuan dong hua common coltsfoot flower Flos Farfarae
zi wan tatarian aster root Radix Asteris