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Can Pei Pa Koa Cure Dry Cough?

can pei pa gao cure dry cough

Pei Pa Koa is a traditional cough remedy that has been used for many years. It is popular in Asia and comes in the form of a syrup. The main purpose of this remedy is to treat coughs and provide relief. The key questions to answer are how good is Pei Pa Koa in treating dry cough? and is it that good for treating all coughs?

To understand better, we have to look at the ingredients of Pei Pa Koa. From understanding the functions of ingredients, we will better understand the effect of Pei Pa Koa.

Pei Pa Koa is made up of the following categories of ingredients:

  1. Base Formula: Er Chen Tang
  2. Key Herbs: Sichuan Fritillary Bulb, Loquat Leaf, Platycodon Root, Apricot Seed
  3. Other Herbs
  4. Sugar and Flavoring

We will do a deep dive in the article below so you can understand better. We will also explain why Pei Pa Koa is good for phlegm and cough, but may not be so good in treating persistent dry coughs.

Base Formula: Er Chen Tang

This name of this formula is derived from the two key herbs that are “cured” or preserved to enhance their medicinal value. The first of the key herbs is Pinella Rhizome, which is able to treat phlegm disorders by transforming phlegm; the second of the key herbs is the Aged Tangerine Peel, which is also very useful in transforming phlegm. Together, these herbs are the base herbs used to treat all manner of phlegm disorders in Chinese medicine.

In addition to the two “cured” medicinal, the other herbs in the formula are Sclerotium Poria Cocos, Licorice Root as well as Fresh Ginger. Together, these five herbs make up Er Chen Tang, the base formula for addressing phlegm in people suffering from dry cough which is considered a phlegm condition despite the cough being unproductive.

#1 Key Herb: Sichuan Fritillary Bulb

The Sichuan Fritillary Bulb is the first key herb is Pei Pa Koa worth discussing.

Sichuan Fritillary Bulb is derived from the root of the Fritillaria Cirrhosa plant, which is native to the Sichuan province in China. This herb has a natural ability to moisten the lungs and promote the production of healthy lung fluids. When we have a dry cough, it often means that our lungs are lacking proper moisture, causing irritation and discomfort.

Introducing the Sichuan Fritillary Bulb into our system helps to soothe and hydrate our lungs, providing some relief. In addition to its moisturizing properties, the Sichuan Fritillary Bulb also possesses expectorant qualities. This means that it can help to loosen and expel phlegm or mucus that may be causing congestion in our respiratory system. Clearing out any built-up phlegm allows for easier breathing and reduces the frequency and severity of coughing fits.

Furthermore, this herb has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract. Inflammation often occurs when our body’s immune system responds to irritants or infections, leading to symptoms such as coughing. By reducing inflammation, the Sichuan Fritillary Bulb helps to calm down our body’s immune response and alleviate coughing caused by irritation.

This is why it is the most important key herb is Pei Pa Koa cough formula.

#2 Key Herb: Loquat Leaf

chinese herbs for dry cough loquat leaf pi pa ye can pei pa gao cure dry cough

Loquat leaf, known as Pi Pa Ye in Chinese medicine, is the second most important herb in Pei Pa Koa.

This leaf has been traditionally used for centuries to treat coughs and respiratory ailments. Its effectiveness is attributed to its bioactive compounds which possess antitussive, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Several active ingredients in loquat leaf contribute to its therapeutic effects against cough:

  1. Triterpenoids: These compounds, particularly ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, exhibit anti-inflammatory and antitussive properties. They help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, soothe irritated airways, and suppress cough reflexes.
  2. Flavonoids: These antioxidants, including quercetin and rutin, possess anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. They help reduce inflammation, loosen phlegm, and promote its expulsion from the respiratory tract.
  3. Saponins: These amphiphilic compounds exhibit expectorant and antitussive properties. They help loosen phlegm, stimulate its expulsion, and soothe irritated airways.
  4. Essential Oils: The essential oils in loquat leaf, such as cineole and limonene, possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They help reduce inflammation, clear phlegm, and fight off infections.

Several studies have provided clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of loquat leaf for treating cough. A 2013 double-blind randomized controlled trial involving 120 children with acute cough found that loquat leaf syrup significantly reduced cough severity and duration compared to placebo. Another study, published in 2018, demonstrated the effectiveness of loquat leaf extract in reducing cough symptoms and improving lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Loquat leaf, with its unique composition of bioactive compounds, has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for centuries to treat cough and respiratory ailments. Its effectiveness is supported by clinical evidence and can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and antimicrobial properties. This is why it is the second most important herb in Pei Pa Koa cough syrup.

#3 Key Herb: Platycodon Root

Platycodon grandiflorum, also known as balloon flower or jie geng in Chinese medicine, is the third most important herb in Pei Pa Koa cough syrup. Its roots, known as Platycodi Radix, have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of respiratory ailments, particularly cough.
Platycodon root contains a rich array of bioactive compounds, including saponins, alkaloids, and flavonoids, that contribute to its therapeutic effects against cough:

  1. Platycodin Saponins: These amphiphilic compounds, particularly platycodin D, exhibit antitussive and expectorant properties. They help suppress cough reflexes, loosen phlegm, and promote its expulsion from the respiratory tract.
  2. Platycodin Alkaloids: These compounds, including platycodin A and B, possess antitussive and anti-inflammatory properties. They help suppress cough reflexes, reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, and soothe irritated airways.
  3. Platycodin Flavonoids: These antioxidants, including platycodin B1 and platycodin C, exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They help reduce inflammation, protect cells from oxidative damage, and support respiratory function.

The combination of these active ingredients in platycodon root exerts a multifaceted effect on cough:

  1. Suppressing Cough Reflexes: The antitussive properties of platycodin saponins and alkaloids help suppress cough reflexes by acting on the central nervous system and reducing the sensitivity of cough receptors in the airways.

  2. Promoting Expectoration: The expectorant properties of platycodin saponins help loosen phlegm, stimulate its expulsion, and promote its clearance from the airways.

  3. Reducing Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of platycodin alkaloids and flavonoids help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, soothing irritated airways and further suppressing cough reflexes.

  4. Protecting Respiratory Health: The antioxidant properties of platycodin flavonoids help protect respiratory cells from oxidative damage, supporting overall respiratory function and reducing susceptibility to infections.

Jie Geng Gan Cao Tang is Good for the Throat

Jie Geng Gan Cao Tang, a traditional Chinese herbal formula, is renowned for its effectiveness in promoting throat health. Incidentally, this herbal formula is made up of Jie Geng (Balloon Flower Root) and Gan Cao (Licorice Root), both of which have been mentioned earlier in the article.

Now, Jie Geng Gan Cao Tang is an important component of Pei Pa Gao. This pair of herbs is known to clear and soothe respiratory passages.

  • Jie Geng, the main ingredient, is known for its ability to disperse lung Qi and facilitate the smooth flow of lung energy. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the lungs are closely connected to the throat, and any disruption in lung Qi can manifest as throat discomfort or irritation. By promoting the free flow of Qi, Jie Geng helps alleviate conditions such as coughing, phlegm accumulation, and throat congestion.
  • Gan Cao, which is Licorice Root) complements Jie Geng’s actions by harmonizing the various herbs in the formula and providing additional benefits for throat health. Gan Cao is known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which is perfect if you have a throat condition or a cough that is only contributing to inflammation in the throat.

This formula pair is an integral part of any TCM formulation for cough, which explains why it is present in Pei Pa Koa. Great for removing phlegm and great for soothing the throat.

Apricot Seed is an Amazing Cough Herb

pei pa koa cure dry cough apricot seed antitussive expectorant function tcm dry cough syrup

Apricot seed holds a significant place in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is often considered an integral component of cough formulas. This small yet potent seed is valued for its multifaceted pharmacological properties, particularly its role as an anti-tussive (cough suppressant) and expectorant agent.

Anti-tussive: Apricot seed is believed to have the ability to calm and soothe the cough reflex. The pharmacological actions associated with this property can be attributed to compounds found in apricot seeds, such as amygdalin. Amygdalin has been studied for its potential to exert antitussive effects by modulating the cough reflex at the central nervous system level. By acting on the cough center in the brain, Apricot Seed is able to alleviate persistent coughing, providing relief to individuals suffering from various respiratory conditions.

Expectorant: Studies have explored the impact of amygdalin on airway smooth muscle and mucus secretion, shedding light on its potential mechanisms of action. A study published in the journal “Experimental Lung Research” (2016) investigated the effects of amygdalin on the tracheal smooth muscle in rats. The findings indicated that amygdalin had a relaxant effect on the tracheal smooth muscle, suggesting a potential bronchodilator effect. This relaxation of the smooth muscle could contribute to the widening of the airways, making it easier for individuals to breathe and promoting the expulsion of phlegm.

A study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” (2017) explored the expectorant and antitussive effects of amygdalin from apricot seeds in mice. The research suggested that amygdalin exhibited both anti-tussive and expectorant  function. The expectorant action was attributed to increased tracheal mucus secretion and enhanced mucociliary transport, emphasizing the potential of amygdalin to facilitate the removal of mucus from the respiratory tract. This explains why Apricot Seed makes an appearance in Pei Pa Koa cough syrup!

Sugar in Cough Syrup is Not Good

For all its amazing qualities, Pei Pa Koa cough syrup also contains sugar and a natural flavour, which gives it a slightly sweeter taste. It is important to remember that sugar does not actually help with coughs. When choosing a cough syrup, it’s essential to select one that not only soothes the throat but also treats the underlying cause of the cough.

Why Pei Pa Koa Cannot Effectively Treat Dry Cough

For all its amazing qualities, Pei Pa Koa is great for treating cough, but may not be as good in treating persistent dry coughs. There are enough cases we see in which Pei Pa Koa can be just as ineffective as dextromethorphan or Procodin. This is because a large number of dry coughs are Post Infectious Coughs (PIC) presenting as Lung Fire according to Chinese Medicine.

In these cases, herbs that are not helpful in a productive cough are going to be crucial. In Lung Fire coughs, you need to include:

  1. Herbs that clear out Lung Fire
  2. Herbs that Enrich Yin and Moisten the Lungs.

In Pei Pa Koa, there is one herb that is tasked to enrich yin and moisten the lungs – Adenophora Root – and it is not enough!

While Pei Pa Koa has great expectorant effect for other kinds of cough, you may still not get the results from it if you are suffering from Post Infectious Dry Cough.

Why you should consider TCM Dry Cough Syrup for Persistent Dry Cough

To effectively treat a dry cough, it is important to address the issue comprehensively. In Chinese medicine, a cough is approached from various perspectives. The treatment for an acute cough differs from that of a dry cough, just as managing a productive cough is different from managing a dry cough.

At our clinic, we specialize in treating all types of coughs. However, we have developed a unique remedy specifically designed for chronic dry coughs that do not respond to common medications such as dextromethorphan, promethazine, diphenhydramine, codeine, guaifenesin or any combination of the above. This formulation has proven to be highly effective in providing relief for stubborn and persistent dry coughs, especially those that develop after an upper respiratory infection like influenza or Covid.

How TCM Dry Cough Syrup can effectively treat your Dry Cough

Certain herbs, such as licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and peppermint (Mentha Peperita), have the ability to soothe coughing by acting on multiple pathways. For instance, licorice exhibits demulcent and expectorant properties, aiding in the clearance of mucus from the respiratory tract. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities help ease throat irritation, while peppermint’s menthol content provides a cooling sensation, offering relief.

We include formulations like Er Chen Tang and Jie Geng Gan Cao Tang to aid in the expectorant and phlegm loosening action of the formula. As explained earlier in the article, these herbs are crucial in ALL TCM formulations for cough.

Most importantly, our TCM Dry Cough Syrup contains a range of herbs that clear our Lung Fire and Enrich Lung Yin. These herbs are crucial in the treatment of persistent dry cough and do not have adequate representation in Pei Pa Koa. Over the years, we have perfected the dosage proportions so that the formula is has good effect within a few days.

Additionally, we employ a range of herbs to combat viral or bacterial infections effectively. Moreover, for individuals who suffer from nasal inflammation and post-nasal drip, our herbs possess anti-histamine properties that help calm the mucosal lining.

Most importantly, TCM Dry Cough Syrup is able to Lubricate Your Throat

Our cough syrups are highly effective due to the presence of specific herbs that help moisturize and soothe the upper respiratory tract. These herbs play a crucial role in ensuring a complete recovery from an incomplete upper respiratory throat infection.

By providing lubrication to your upper respiratory tract, our cough syrups effectively alleviate dry coughs. This means you no longer have to worry about coughing unexpectedly in front of your colleagues, at the gym, during yoga class, or even in a restaurant. With our cough syrups, you can finally enjoy uninterrupted sleep at night.

We successfully treat Chronic and Persistent Dry Coughs

You often end up with a Dry Cough after recovering from your cold, flu or covid. This is PIC or Post Infectious Cough. If you are experiencing this persistent dry cough that has lasted for weeks, you certainly don’t want it to continue for months. We can help.

People come to us because:

  1. They are not fully recovering from their respiratory infection. They have already recovered from their flu or covid, but their cough continues on for months.
  2. They already suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or COPD. Some patients already have lung conditions, which makes them more likely to fall sick and keep falling sick. They are the person who you notice who is always coughing.
  3. They are smokers. These are the most difficult as the constant smoking will often trigger the cough reflex. We can still help nourish the dried-out lungs.

If you want to trial our very effective TCM Dry Cough Syrup, fill out the form below:

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With relevant information that you provide, you wil get an appropriate cough formula for yourself.


What is Pei Pa Koa Good For?

Pei Pa Gao is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy for cough. It is a balanced herbal formula that is good for all kinds of cough, including productive and non-productive coughs.

It contains herbs that are able to help nourish the lungs, reduce phlegm, relieve cough, sooth a sore throat and even help with loss of voice.

5 Things About Pei Pa Koa You Never Knew!

1. Pei Pa Gao (Pei Pa Koa) is a traditional formula with many variations. The best known version of Pei Pa Gao is manufactured in Hong Kong under the brand name Nin Jiom.
2. Just like many herbal formulations like Jagermeister are now used in beverage drinks, Pei Pa Koa is used as part of the repertoire by mixologists in Asia. For example, Singaporean mixologist Louis Tan used Pei Pa Gao together with dark rum to create a drink to commemorate Chinese New year.
3. Pei Pa Gao has many versions. For example, Eu Yan Sang has a version with almost half the amount of herbs as those used by Nin Jiom.
4. Pei Pa Gao is not longer just sold in Asia. It is now a global brand thanks to Nin Jiom’s commercial success.
5. Pei Pa Gao may not be that helpful in treating persistent dry cough.

Is Pei Pa Koa Good For Phlegm?

Pei Pa Koa is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy meant to treat phlegm, like in a phlegmy cough. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa is a Chinese herbal remedy that uses the traditional formulation but with modifications, like in the addition of herbs or sugar or flavoring.

Pei Pa Koa is exceptionally good for phlegm and is good for treating cough.

How Effective Is Pei Pa Koa?

According to a 1994 study in China, Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa has significant cough relieving and sputum removing effects. It also had an evident effect on relieving asthma in vivo and in vitro. It showed significant effect of reducing inflammation in four acute or sub-acute inflammatory models.

How To Drink Pei Pa Koa Syrup?

As prescribed on the packaging of the Pei Pa Koa syrup for best results. Adult dosage recommendations are typically one to two tablespoons (15–30 ml) per dose, while children may only need half of that amount. The syrup should be taken two to three times a day, or as prescribed by a healthcare provider. Before using, give the bottle a good shake, and measure out the recommended dosage using the included cup. The syrup can be consumed straight away or, if desired, combined with warm water. It’s critical that you read the product’s instructions, follow them, and get medical advice if you have any questions or concerns about any particular health issues.

Pei Pa Koa Syrup Side Effects?

When used as instructed, pei pa koa syrup is generally regarded as safe. Like any herbal remedy, there is a chance of mild side effects for certain people. These may include nausea or diarrhea, as well as other gastrointestinal discomfort, particularly if the prescribed dosage is exceeded. Allergies to specific herbal ingredients in the syrup may also cause allergic reactions in certain people.

It’s necessary that you take the medication as prescribed by the manufacturer and speak with a doctor before using the product, particularly if you are expecting, nursing, taking medication, or have underlying medical issues. As soon as you experience any negative reactions or side effects, stop using the product and get medical help.

Pei Pa Koa syrup may be appropriate for your specific health needs, but as with any health supplement, it’s important to monitor how your body reacts to it and speak with a doctor.