Research Indicates Zhi Sou San Effectively Treats Coughs

By Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc /

Research Indicates Zhi Sou San Effectively Treats Coughs

If you have a cough, you’ve probably used over-the-counter products to help relieve it. But so many of those products have side effects such as drowsiness or digestive issues that often interfere with daily life. Is there a natural solution?

Zhi Sou San is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine – originating in the Qing Dynasty – used to treat coughs (it’s literal translation is “Stop Cough”). This formula has been used by doctors of Chinese Herbal Medicine for centuries to relieve coughs, reduce phlegm, and to soothe throat irritations. This formula is the inspiration behind Breathe Clear, a pressed herbal tablet that is great for:

  • Relieving coughs
  • Reducing phlegm
  • Opening up the airways
  • Supporting the lungs

zhi sou san cough

What the Research Says

Comprised of seven herbs, Zhi Sou San is most frequently used by Chinese medicine practitioners to treat post-infectious cough, which goes away shortly after you’ve recovered from an infection, and cough variant asthma, a dry, nonproductive cough.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, Zhi Sou San is "peaceful and gentle - not too cold and not too hot".

Research indicates that Zhi Sou San might be effective in treating diseases-induced cough, and that compared with Western medicine, Zhi Sou San can be more effective in treating disease-induced cough, helping relieve cough and improve decreased lung capacity.

Research indicates that compared with Western medicine, Zhi Sou San can be more effective in treating disease-induced cough, helping relieve cough and improve decreased lung capacity


Whether your cough is acute or chronic, Chinese medicine may have the answer - without side effects. In addition, it’s been noted to potentially lower recurrence rate.

Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at drkarchmer@mydaolabs.com.

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