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Herbal Remedies for Chronic Coughs - Liver-fire Type

TCM types of chronic cough: Phlegm-dampness | Phlegm-heat | Liver-fire | Yin deficiency

This is frequent bouts of non-productive coughing, other accompanied symptoms include cough-induced chest pain, a flushed face, throat and mouth dryness. The symptoms usually fluctuate along with emotional changes. The tongue is red and covered by dry and yellow fur; the pulse is taut and rapid.

The remedy should clear the lungs, soothe the liver, smooth qi flow and check fire.

Sample prescription: Modified Purging Lung Powder plus Indigo and Clam Shell Powder plus baical skullcap root

In the prescription, the indigo and clam shell clear liver-heat and resolve phlegm; the baical skullcap root, mulberry root-bark and wolfberry root-bark clear the lung-heat; the rice and liquorice root nourish the stomach so as to replenish body fluids. Additional herbs are necessary when certain symptoms are obvious, for example:

clam shell
wolfberry root-bark
baical skullcap root

When there are symptoms like a flushed face and irritability, extra herbs are necessary to clear the liver-fire.

zhi zi gardenia fruit Fructus Gardeniae
mu dan pi peony root bark Crotex Moutan

Severe chest tightness and breath shortness can be relieved by smoothing lung qi with herbs like:

ting li zi pepperweed seed Semen Lepidi
gua lou snakegourd peel Fructus Trichosanthis
zhi ke bitter orange peel Fructus Aurantii

TCM believes that chest or rib pain is a sign of stagnation in the liver meridian, and if this is the case other herbs should be added:

yu jin turmeric root-tuber Radix Curcumae
si gua luo loofah Retinervus Luffae Fructus

Excessive heat usually leads to sticky mucus which is difficult to expectorate; some herbs can help clear heat and promote expectoration.

hai fu shi pumice stone  
zhe bei thunberg fritillary bulb Bulbus Fritillariae Thunbergii
dong gua ren winter gourd kernel Semen Benincasae

Persistent coughing accompanied with excessive dryness in the throat and mouth, indicate that the lungs are damaged, and need proper nourishment. Suitable herbs include:

bei sha shen coastal glehnia root Radix Glehniae
bai he lily bulb Bulbus Lilii
mai dong dwarf lily-turf tuber Radix Ophiopogonis
tian hua fen snakegourd root Radix Trichosanthis
he zi myrobalan fruit Fructus Chebulae