A cough is the body’s natural response to removing an object, excess mucus or infection from the lung. Cough medicines inhibit this process by desensitizing the nerves that recognize an irritant and, whilst soothing, will allow the cause of the problem to stay in the lungs.

The general use of these suppressants should be curtailed unless the patient is losing sleep or coughing so much that bruising and further damage to the lungs seems inevitable. Even then, the cough suppressants should be used sparingly and the natural fluid-extract preparations available from healthfood stores and complementary practitioners are supposedly easier for the body to break down than the more pharmaceutical^ manufactured chemicals.