How many different kinds and cases of cough there are, we have already mentioned when considering it among the symptoms of disease. It cannot be treated exactly alike under all these different circumstances. As a symptom it is unpleasant, and often wearisome ; and it is well to know of some domestic remedies which are safe and useful in many cases.
First, a dry cough must be softened and loosened. The three best home remedies for this purpose are ipecacuanha, squills, and wild cherry bark. Of the syrup of ipecacuanha, for this effect (not to cause vomiting) the dose is from a quarter to a half teaspoon-ful. Of syrup of squills, which does best at a later stage than ipecac, half a teaspoonful to a teaspoonful. Of syrup of wild cherry bark, a teaspoonful. This last may be given along with syrup of ipecac at first, and with syrup of squills afterward.
There is also real usefulness in the soothing effect upon cough of licorice, and of pure and well-made candies; hoarhound candy for example. The advantage of these is that a little of either can betaken very often, so as to keep up a nearly constant influence of the kind desired. Although such things only touch the swallowing part of the throat (pharynx), not the wind-pipe (larynx), yet the nearness and sympathy of these two surfaces cause the extension of the effect from one to the other. Spencer's chloramine pastilles are useful in this way.
After loosening, a wearisome cough may need to be quieted. This must be done with care, since to stop secretion and dry up a cough will make things worse. Opium and its preparations, including of course morphia, have the most power of this kind. They are often added to cough-mixtures, to be used after free expectoration of phlegm has come on. Wistar's cough lozenges, when made after the regular formula, are composed chiefly of licorice, with a little opium added. Syrup of lactucarium, also, is quieting to cough, and is a milder narcotic than opium: It may be used sooner and with less apprehension of excessive effect. Compound tincture of benzoin often has a very good effect, in fifteen to twenty drop doses, each dose taken on a lump of sugar.