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Herbal Remedies for Acute Coughs - Wind-cold Type

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

This is a cough presenting with clear or white mucus; other symptoms may include a runny nose with a clear discharge, an itchy throat, headache, slight body aches and chills. The tongue coating is white and the pulse is floating.

The remedy should dispel wind-cold, and promote the free flow of lung qi.

Sample prescription: Modified Three Abnormally Combined Decoction plus Apricot Kernel and Perilla Leaf Powder

In the prescription, the ephedra, apricot kernel, liquorice root, hogfennel root and balloonflower root work together to smooth the qi flow of the lungs; the perilla leaf and fresh ginger can dispel wind-cold evils on the body surface; the tangerine peel, bitter orange peel, pinellia tuber and poria regulate the airways and dry up the secretions.

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

When the mucus turns thick and sticky, and there is also throat soreness, difficulty in breathing, mouth dryness, a feverish sensation, and the tongue coating becomes white or yellow and greasy, it suggests the lungs have developed heat. The above prescription needs to delete the fresh ginger and add in three more ingredients to clear the heat:

sang bai pi white mulberry root-bark Cortex Mori Radicis
niu bang zi great burdock fruit Fructus Arctii
huang qin baical skullcap root Radix Scutellariae

For severe congestion or excessive nasal discharges, the following herbs can arrest it.

cang er zi siberian cocklibur fruit Fructus Xanthii
xin yi biond Magnolia flower Flos Magnoliae

bitter apricot kernel
liquorice root