Natural and Alternative Cough Treatment Options

Cough Treatment {introduction}

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.

TCM Diagnostic Patterns Related to Cough

Listed below are Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic patterns that are commonly involved with this western medical condition/symptom. Properly applied, Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture and herbal medicine) treats patterns not individual symptoms/conditions which may better account for the range of symptoms often experienced by individuals. Pattern diagnosis/treatment is a crucial part of using Chinese Medicine for disease prevention instead of focusing on solely symptomatic treatments as is somewhat more common in western medicine. For more on this concept, please read What Does Acupuncture Treat? Or Treating the "Cause" and not the "Symptoms".


Herbal Formulas for Cough Available From Our Store

Herbal Formulas

You may click on any of the products below for more information, or view all formulas listed by condition.

Bai He Gu Jin Wan - Dry Cough, Dry Throat Herbal Formula
Bai He Gu Jin Wan - Sore Throat, Dry Cough Herbal Formula

Uses: Dry Cough, Sore/Dry Throat, Sensation of Heat in Hands, Nightsweats.  Bai He Gu Jin Wan (Bai He Gu Jin Pian, Bai He Gu Jin Tang, Lily Bulb Formula, Lilium Teapills), translates in english as...



Er Chen He San Zi Yang Qin Wan - Cough, Asthma Herbal Formula
Er Chen He San Zi Yang Qin Pian-cough, asthma herbal supplement

Uses: Cough, Asthma.



Fritillary & Loquat Combo Extract - Respiratory Problems and Cough Syrup
Fritillary & Loquat Combo Extract - Respiratory Problems and Cough Syrup

Uses: Respiratory Problems, Phlegm, Cough. Fritillary & Loquat Combo Extract (Jin Pai Pi Pa Gao) is a Traditional Chinese combination used to nourish the Lung yin and promote body's fluid, clear...



Gan Mao Ling - Cold & Flu Herbal Formula
Gan Mao Ling - Cold & Flu Herbal Formula

Uses: Cold, Flu, Cough, Congestion.  Gan Mao Ling, literally "common cold effective remedy" in Chinese, is a Chinese herbal medicine formulated for common cold and flu. It is...



Oogmi Daewae Menja - Respiratory Problem Tea
Oogmi Daewae Menja - Respiratory Problem Tea

Uses: Cold, Cough, Respiratory Problems: Oogmi Daewae Menja is prepared according to Tibetan Science of healing. It contains natural herbs that helps to control cold, chest congestion, cough, breathlessness, profuse...



Ping Chuan Pill - Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema Herbal Formula
Ping Chuan Pill - Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema Herbal Formula

Uses: Asthma, Bronchitis, and Emphysema. Ping Chuan Pill removes phlegm heat from the lung to relieve wheezing and asthma. It functions by reducing mucus, gives relief to chest constriction, and...



Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan - Cough & Asthma Herbal Formula
Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan - Cough & Asthma Herbal Formula

Uses:  Cough, Asthma, Phlegm. Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan removes heat from the lung and dissolves phlegm, relieves cough, dysphoria and asthma.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used to...



Sheng Mai Yin Wan - Respiratory Disorders, Nightsweats, Cough Herbal Formula
Sheng Mai Yin Wan - Respiratory Disorders, Nightsweats, Cough Herbal Formula

Uses: Cough, Palpitations, Insomnia, Nightsweats, Respiratory Disorders. Sheng Mai Yin Wan (Sheng Mai San Wan, The Great Pulse Teapills) work to supplement qi and yin (especially of the Lungs, Heart, and Stomach),...



Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan (Pian) - Cough and Asthma Herbal Formula
Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan - Cough and Asthma Herbal Formula

Uses:  Cough and Asthma. Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan (Su Zi Jiang Qi Pian), literally translates as the "Perilla Fruit Pills to Direct the Qi Downward" and the formula is used to relieve...



Xiao Qing Long Wan - Cough and Asthma Herbal Formula
Xiao Qing Long Wan - Cough and Asthma Herbal Formula

Uses:  Cough and Asthma.



Acupuncture Treatment Protocols

Listed below are articles describing related TCM diagnoses and acupuncture treatment points. These generally require an understanding of basic TCM Theory, however, general readers may find the protocols illustrative of how Chinese Medicine views and treats this condition.

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Submitted Case Studies

There are no case study submissions for this condition at this time.

Cough related articles

Below are articles related to this condition submitted by our practitioner members. See our practitioner member section for all articles.


  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 10/04/2011 - 1:19pm

    Similar to other western conditions, Chinese Medicine does not use western terminology such as a “cold” or the “flu” in formulating proper treatments.  Colds and flus are merely western names which describe an array of symptoms with some common underlying factors and symptoms.  Chinese Medicine, on the other hand, treats collections of symptoms unique to the individual - what we call “patterns.”  While both the cold and the flu (influenza) are understood as viral infections (from a few different viruses), within Chinese Medicine they are vi

Forum posts related to Cough

Listed below are forum posts related to this condition. You can click on the posts to submit comments. If you would like to submit a forum post/question related to this condition, please click to submit. For all recent activity see our forum.

The Tong Ren Therapy and Tam Healing section for this condition has not yet been submitted.

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    The TCM Theory section for this condition has not yet been submitted.

    Acupuncture Points for Cough

    Below you will find acupuncture points relevant to this condition. The points listed below are by no means the only relevant points, rather we list empirical or commonly used points as well as those applicable to use with acupressure as a self-help remedy.


    Professional Practitioner Information

    Below you will find links to technical information largely of interest to professional practitioners.

    TCM Herbs and Formulas for Cough

    TCM Herbal Formulas for Cough

    Listed below are TCM Herbal Formulas related to this condition.
    General Indications Functional Grouping Combinations
    Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan - Perilla Fruit Pill to Direct Qi Downward - TCM Herbal Formula

    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.

    Direct Rebellious Qi Downward, Regulate the Qi
    Bai He Gu Jin Wan - Lily Bulb to Preserve the Metal - TCM Herbal Formula

    For lung and kidney yin deficiency with signs such as dry cough, possibly with blood streaked sputum, dry and sore throat, heat in the five palms, nightsweats, wheezing.

    The Pulse will be thin and rapid and the Tongue will be red with little coating.

    Enrich the Yin and Moisten Dryness, Treat Dryness
    Sheng Mai Yin Wan - Replenish Pulse Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Tonify the Qi, Tonify
    Ban Xia Hou Po Wan - Pinellia & Magnolia Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Promote the Movement of Qi, Regulate the Qi
    Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan - Clear the Qi and Transform Phlegm Pill - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Clear Heat and Transform Phlegm, Treat Phlegm
    Gan Mao Ling - Miraculous Cold Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity, Clear Heat
    Er Chen He San Zi Yang Qin Wan - Two Aged Herbs & Three Seeds Nursing Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Dry Dampness and Expel Phlegm, Treat Phlegm
    Sheng Mai San Wan - Generate the Pulse Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Tonify the Yin, Tonify
    Xiao Qing Long Wan - Minor Blue Dragon Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Transform Phlegm and Extinguish Wind, Treat Phlegm

    Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs for Cough

    Below you will find Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs relevant to this condition. See our TCM Herbal Database for more details.

    There are no tcm herbs listed for this condition at this time.

    Western Herbs and Cough Medical Information

    Western herbs for Cough

    Below you will find Western herbs relevant to this condition. See our Western Herbal Database for more details.

    There are no western herbs listed for this condition at this time.

    Cough - Western Medicine Information

    At this time no Western Medicine information has been completed for this section.