Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Coughing Can Be Healthy

Believe it or not, a cough is the body's way to protect itself and occurs in perfectly healthy people. Coughing is much like a sneeze in that it is not voluntary. There are two different classes of nerves, that have endings in the lungs, which are responsible for causing us to cough.

When a person coughs, their body is trying to get rid of irritants in the air passages. Mucus is oftentimes the reason that a cough starts. The body initiates a cough in order to clear the mucus out of the air passageways. Amazingly, a cough can force air at speeds up to three hundred miles per hour.

If a person is not a smoker and their X-rays are clear then a persistent cough usually means one of three things. Asthma, post nasal drip or heartburn. Less often, it can be because of chronic bronchitis or a side effect from prescription medicines. Coughing can also be caused by an infection in your upper respiratory tract, pneumonia, tuberculosis or acute bronchitis.

For those of us who smoke, a cough is not something that is so unusual. Most smokers have a cough, or 'smoker's cough', that is the bodys natural way of getting rid of the excess phlegm that smoking causes. It is important to make sure that you quit smoking as soon as possible, especially if you cough a lot. Children are the king of coughs because their immune systems have not built up many immunities and they get sick, quite often.

Coughing can also be caused when we eat. The food goes down the wrong pipe and the epiglottis does it's job by keeping the food out of the trachea.

If you have a cough that has been going on for days and continues to get worse then you should go see a doctor. They will need to make sure that you are not dealing with some type of disease. If your cough has lasted in excess of 3 weeks then you could be dealing with several different things. The doctor will be the one to figure it out.

If you are coughing chronically then there is a high chance that you are dealing with some sort of disease. You can always use OTC cough suppressants to tame the cough down but this is not necessarily a good idea. It shuts down your body's defense mechanism and does not allow it to properly expel the mucus from your airways.

If you are looking for a natural cough remedy then there are several choices, for you. Herbs have an advantage over artificial cough suppressants in that they are gentle and have the ability to loosen phlegm while not drying out the membranes. Hyssopus Officinalis and Althea Officinalis are both beneficial to the health of your respiratory system and will make you feel better by soothing your mucus membranes.

Dee Braun, a single mom of 6, is a Cert. Aromatherapist & natural health practitioner. Click now to visit Natural Holistic Health Blog which offers info on more natural home remedies & healing techniques for common health, emotional ailments & conditions at

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