Benzoin, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Immortelle, Marjoram, Myrtle, Pine Needle, Tea Tree, Thyme.

A cough is a reflex action of the bronchi (air passages) which is designed to clear these passages of obstructions, such as dust, pollen or excessive mucus. As such, the cough is useful and should not be suppressed. Sometimes, though, the reflex is provoked by inflammation of the mucous membrane of the throat, although there may be nothing to expel, and this kind of cough can exhaust the patient to no useful end. Even a 'productive' cough (one which gets rid of mucous) can set up further non-productive irritation, and perpetuate itself after it has ceased to be useful. Sometimes a cough can be triggered from pressures from outside the air passages, such as by enlarged lymph nodes in whooping cough.

The most appropriate form of aromatherapy treatment is a steam inhalation, since this will soothe the throat and bronchi, and also loosen any excessive mucous so that expelling it by coughing becomes easier. If the cough is due to a bacterial infection, bactericidal oils can be chosen to attack the root of the problem. Thyme is one of the most powerful of these, and others that combat cough*, include Benzoin (extremely soothing to the throat), Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Marjoram and Sandalwood.

Some gentle massage to the throat and chest, with any of the same oils, is an alternative, or both methods can be used together.

Any of these oils in a burner, or other form of diffuser, will help. especially in the bedroom at night.

Such time-honoured remedies as hot lemon drinks with honey, or herb teas, also have the effect of soothing irritation in the throat.

Any cough which does not clear up after a few days with these simple self-help measures should be treated by a doctor, medic. 11 herbalist, etc.


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