Ayurvedic soup for chronic dry cough

Chronic dry cough is due to an aggravation of Vata Dosha. If Vata cannot move downwards properly, it moves up towards the chest and head causing dry cough. Vagabata, the author of the Asthanga Hridayam advises the following protocol for treating Vataja (Vata-caused) cough (AH.CS.III.1-3):

  • Medicated oils and ghee made with Vata pacifying drugs
  • Thin gruel and soup
  • Meat soup (stock)
  • Confections
  • Inhalations
  • Oil massage
  • Sudation
  • Pouring warm decoction over body
  • Bath
  • Basti (if there is obstruction to stool and flatus)

Here is a soup recipe for Vataja cough

The Ayurvedic texts explain that for Vataja cough, soup should be prepared with medicines that are Vata reducing, treat cough; as well as fats, sour and salty ingredients, barely, meat essence (i.e. stock). Here is an recipe based on this logic:

Pre-mix a jar of these spices for convenient use in cooking of this recipe. If you cannot access all of the ingredients, a few can be omitted:

1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon fenugreek powder*

1 tablespoon turmeric powder*

1 tablespoon fennel powder

1 tablespoon cardamom powder or 2 pods*

1 tablespoon thyme*

1 tsp nutmeg powder

Gently sauté for 1 minute or until begins to smell the odor of the spices:

2 tsp ghee or sesame oil

2 tsp of the above spice mix

1 tsp fresh ginger root grated

1 garlic clove crushed


Handful of barley*

1 Chicken leg

1 bowl of chopped vegetables (carrots, onions*, sweat potato*)

1 litre of water (or so there is about 3 x volume of the solids)

2 whole pippalis (long pepper corns – optional)*

1 tablespoon of Marshmallow root pieces (comfrey root is a substitute)*

1 tomato


Bring to boil them simmer, covered, for at least 1 hour (ideally 2-3 hours on very low)

Remove the chicken meat from the soup and feed it to the cats or a friend!


Salt to taste

Lemon or lime juice (1-2 tsp)

1 tablespoon of flax seeds*

Cook for 15 minutes more then remove from heat

Optionally blend the mixture to a smooth consistency

Eat this as main meal 2-3 times per day. It is possible to cook this soup with no vegetables and chicken and just drink the stock. This is useful if appetite is very low.

*These are all specific for cough or adapted to dry (vataja) cough in particular.


9 thoughts on “Ayurvedic soup for chronic dry cough

  1. I stumbled upon this blog and I must say that I am very happy that I had the opportunity to read and make comments.
    My daughter is sick right now, will try your recipe.
    I find this article very interesting and rich in content, will also be very pleased to discuss issues that are present in this paper. I look forward to more posts from you ..

    Add a widget for twitter and you’ll see more views.
    That’s interesting. Posted by news at Twitter. Thanks for the link!

    Ayurveda in india

    • Thanks for the comment. I haven’t posted much lately. Mainly because (a) I have a young family and (b) I try not to get to much into the internet thing which I have mixed feelings about. When I do have something to say that moves me, or I find the time to post, then I post. Take care, Alex. 🙂

  2. I cannot believe this, Ayurveda can never suggest something like chicken leg for any kind of medications. The author really need to exposure to a ayurveda. Did you ever read Ayurveda at all.

    • Dear Ankur, have you studied Ayurveda? or read the classical Ayurvedic texts? There is no plant, no mineral, no animal on this planet, that when used appropriately, possesses no medical virute. Of course, there are beliefs that “bad karma” are result of consuming meat. Also that meat produced Ama. Both of these are true. However, when the goal is to restore health, Ayurveda teaches that meat can be used and bad karma is cancelled. Thanks for your interest in the blog and reading the article all the same.

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