Bad cough, sir? Here, growth this beard once a day
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  • Bad cough, sir? Here, growth this beard once a day

  • Bad cough, sir? Here, growth this beard once a day

    Once upon a time doctors would recommend some simple remedy, rather than reaching for the prescription pad, but regrettably much traditional medical wisdom now seems to have been lost and forgotten. However, a London Harley Street specialist recently recommended an old-fashioned, if rather unusual, treatment, to a man afflicted by a chronic cough.

    The specialist first asked his patient whether he was prepared to do exactly as he was told, and, having gained his consent, instructed him to "go away and grow a beard". The patient was, of course, incredulous, but duly did as he had been told and his cough disappeared. The intriguing aspect of traditional remedies is that although, as in this instance, they might seem a trifle bizarre, there is invariably a sensible rationale behind them.

    There are several reasons why someone who is a non-smoker and has no other signs of chest disease may none-the-less have a chronic cough. Chronic coughs may be the sole symptom of asthma, even in the absence of a wheeze or shortness of breath. It is thus likely to be exacerbated by the same factors as asthma, including sudden changes in temperature and exposure to cold air. A beard would be a preventative measure by keeping the neck warm. Clearly this remedy is not appropriate for women or pre-pubescent boys, but a cravat or high-necked woolen jumper may have a similar beneficial effect.

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