How To Kill A Cough

When I was a kid I would get a cold whenever the seasons changed. By the time I reached my 20’s, the cough that came from those colds would linger for months. It was that dry, hacking cough that kept me up at night, and could get so bad that it made my ribs hurt.

Fast forward 10 years, and not only am I able to get rid of that hacking cough, but it’s been years since I’ve even gotten a cold or a cough. And it’s not just me, I’ve also seen quite a few patients lately with similar issues, and we’ve been able to get rid of their coughs as well. Today I want to share the process with you.

Start As Early As Possible

If you know you’re prone to “lung stuff”, you should be treating a cough as soon as possible. Know when you tend to get coughs, whether that’s during and after a cold/bronchitis/pneumonia, when you’re exposed to lung irritations, when your allergies get bad, or even silent reflux.

You could sit around and wait to see if your cough resolves on its own, but you have a much better chance of getting rid of it quickly if you jump on it as soon as it starts. Take a day off, drink a ton of ginger tea, eat soup, and definitely avoid sugar and dairy. If this isn’t enough, go visit your acupuncturist as soon as you can to get started on the next 3 steps. 


I wrote a whole in depth article on cupping, you can get the details here. Today I just want to focus on cups for treating a cough. No matter what type of cough you’ve got, cupping helps. The suction of the cups loosens mucous and “gunk” from your lungs, opens up the muscles around the ribs, and calms the lungs. This way, your body can get rid of irritants or obstructions in your lungs, and open the ribcage making it easier to breathe.

A great example of this is my patient, Sally (not her real name). Sally had gotten a little cold back in March, but held onto the cough for more than 6 months! It was keeping her up at night and irritating her throat. 3 cupping sessions was all it took to ensure she was sleeping like a baby and no longer coughing. 


While you’re getting cupped, you’re probably going to want to stay for some acupuncture (I do both in one session, no extra charge). Many times a cough stems from an imbalance in your immune system, whether is it overactive from allergies, or run down, causing you to get an infection (like a cold, flu, bronchitis or pneumonia). Acupuncture balances your immune system, strengthening it when needed, or ramping it down a bit if it’s decided to fight the wrong thing.

The earlier you come in to get treated, the faster this will work. If you can feel an infection coming on, and you’ve got an acupuncture appointment already scheduled – great! Don’t cancel it because you’re feeling a little under the weather. You’ll be happy to see your cold duration cut in half, with no lingering issues.

Herbal Cough Syrup

The 3rd and final punch for a cough that just won’t quit. We’re now carrying a great ginger and herb cough syrup that is super effective for quelling the lingering cough and soothing your throat. So if you didn’t make it to your acupuncturist quite early enough, and your cough is being stubborn, this is the way to go.

Another patient of mine, lets call her Rebecca, had been suffering with a dry, hacking cough for over a month. It had gotten to the point where her ribs hurt when she moved. So we did the cups and the acupuncture, and I sent her home with some Ginger Zinger cough syrup. A week later she came back and got another bottle because it worked so well.

So don’t suffer for months on end with a cough that makes you miserable. It’s such an easy fix. And with regular maintenance treatments, you’ll find that your immune system becomes so much more resilient that you rarely even come down with a cold.



Elizabeth Williams is an acupuncturist in Greenville, South Carolina, specializing in pain management, women’s health, and psycho-emotional issues. She’s passionate about helping people feel their best and sharing her wealth of knowledge with the community. Elizabeth is the owner of Dragonfly Acupuncture & Massage, on Wade Hampton Boulevard. Appointments can be made by calling 864-451-4313, or scheduled online here.