Who doesn’t know: It starts with a slight itchy throat and within a few days you’re simply lying in bed, hoarse as ever, sipping tea after tea and coughing up thick mucus from your lungs. The question quickly arises: what helps against this? We will tell you.
Cough with phlegm: Possible causes
In contrast to a dry or unproductive cough, the so-called productive cough removes mucus from the airways. This symptom is typical of various diseases and serves our body to remove pathogens and germs from our respiratory tract. But inflammation, as occurs with some chronic diseases or with years of smoking, can stimulate mucus production and trigger a cough. A cough with sputum can be caused by the following:
- a cold
- Acute or chronic bronchitis
- Viral infection
- bronchial asthma
- To smoke
- lung infection
Tip: If you have a cough with sputum regularly or for a longer period of time, you should definitely see your doctor to rule out serious causes or start quick treatment.
5 tips against cough with phlegm
1. Expectorant drugs
Expectorant drugs too expectorants called – are medicines that thin the mucus and thus facilitate its evacuation from the respiratory tract. In contrast to cough suppressants – the so-called antitussive – they do not suppress cough, but only dissolve stubborn and viscous mucus in the airways. Antitussive antitussives (e.g. codeine), some of which are very potent and associated with the risk of addiction, are recommended by the German Society of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) only for whooping cough or excruciating dry cough. In case of bronchitis and mild cough without great suffering, the PGD expressly advises to use only expectorant drugs or to resort to herbal preparations.
2. Herbal supplements
While herbal remedies remain guilty of evidence-based proof of efficacy for some diseases, so-called herbal remedies Proven effective in acute cough conditions to reduce both intensity and duration of cough. For example, the German Society of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) in their guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with herbal cough combined preparations one made of ivy and thyme or primrose root and thyme high efficacy, especially in acute bronchitis. Equally effective are plant protection products with eucalyptus such as myrtle or cineole (eg GeloMyrtol forte or Soledum forte), which according to studies is as effective as medicinal mucolytics and facilitates expectoration. However, the efficacy has only been demonstrated for the respective preparations, not for the individual plants themselves.