Pelargonium sidoides, also known as African geranium, is a powerful medicinal herb. It’s also sold under the brand names Umckaloabo and Kaloban as a plant-derived pharmaceutical.
The herb is highly effective for treating acute bronchitis. It helps your body heal faster. Studies have shown that within 7 days of Pelargonium sidoides supplementation, about 40-60% of people suffering from acute bronchitis resolve their symptoms completely.
Does Pelargonium sidoides really work?
Some patients saw results after 2-3 days. Those who aren’t cured after 7 days still reap the benefits of Pelargonium sidoides supplementation. This is because it treats the symptoms linked to bronchitis, including fever, headache, fatigue, chest pain, coughing, rhonchi, nasal drip, etc.
Preliminary evidence shows Pelargonium sidoides may reduce the duration of common colds while treating symptoms. Also, it will benefit those suffering from lung disorders by easing flare-ups in symptoms.
The herb boasts anti-infective properties. It can prevent bacteria from adhering to your cells, help combat viruses, and enhance your immune system.
Pelargonium sidoides can combat Helicobacter pylori infection— the stomach bacteria causing stomach ulcers. It can also reduce the replication of the herpes simplex virus.
Here’s everything you need to know about Pelargonium sidoides.
Pelargonium sidoides health benefits
The majority of research on Pelargonium is still limited to test-tube studies. Within this capacity, Pelargonium sidoides extracts are said to neutralize specific viruses and bacteria. It remains uncertain whether incorporating a plant extract can produce the same effects. You could say the current research and evidence are mixed.
Sinusitis and colds
In 2013, Researchers analyzed old published research and found that Pelargonium sidoides may reduce the duration of sinus or cold infections. Despite such findings, the researchers agreed that the evidence was still not good enough.
In another study, scientists evaluated several different studies reviewing the efficiency of Pelargonium, echinacea, and similar herbal medicines in treating various respiratory tract infections in children.
While echinacea failed to offer any relief, the Pelargonium sidoides herb demonstrated adequate evidence for effectiveness in treating moderate respiratory infections.
The herb may help relieve bronchitis symptoms, suggests a review from Germany. Some evidence of its effectiveness could be seen in the study, but the results were somewhat skewed by poor research.
Recent evidence shows that an oral extract of Pelargonium sidoides can provide moderate relief of bronchitis in kids. Tablet formulations, in contrast, seem to have zero impact.
More research is required to substantiate such findings.
What is Pelargonium sidoides side effects?
When it comes to Pelargonium sidoides, the safety concerns of the herb are widely untested. Generally cited adverse effects may include stomach upset, heartburn, nausea, poor respiratory symptoms, etc.
Pelargonium sidoides boasts a substance called coumarin, which acts as an anticoagulant, i.e., blood thinner. Due to this, we recommend you avoid consuming Pelargonium sidoides with prescription anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin) as it may lead to extreme bleeding. Also, for similar reasons, you’re advised to stop using Pelargonium sidoides at least a week or two before surgery or dental procedures.
Consult your healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplements. Considering the limitations of safety studies, Pelargonium sidoides remedies shouldn’t be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children.
Pelargonium sidoides dosage and preparation
According to WebMD, the following doses have been tested thoroughly:
- For a common cold: 30/60 drops 3 times every day of a certain extract of Pelargonium sidoides for around 10 days.
- For bronchitis: 30 drops of a certain extract of Pelargonium sidoides 3 times/day for a week. This same extract can be used in tablet form, 10-30mg 3 times/day for a week.
- For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): 30 Pelargonium sidoides drops can be taken 3 times/day for 24 weeks.
- For a common cold: Between 5-10 drops of Pelargonium sidoides extract 3 days/day for 5 days.
- For bronchitis: In kids aged seven to twelve, 20 drops of Pelargonium sidoides extract 3 times/day for 7 days. In children that are 6 years old or less, about 10 drops of Pelargonium sidoides extract 3 times/day for 7 days
- For swollen tonsils and sore throat in kids (6-10 years): 20 drops of Pelargonium sidoides extract 3 times/day for one week.
Are there any interactions with medications?
Pelargonium sidoides may enhance the immune system. Consuming the herb, along with some medications that reduce the immune system, may also reduce the effectiveness of such medicines.
Medications that reduce the immune system include basiliximab (Simulect), azathioprine (Imuran), cyclosporine ( Sandimmune, Neoral), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, daclizumab (Zenapax), mycophenolate (CellCept), Orthoclone (OKT3), tacrolimus (Prograf, FK506), prednisone (Orasone, Deltasone), sirolimus (Rapamune), and corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), among many others.
Most types of geranium can be consumed by mouth, and Pelargonium sidoides is no exception. Its flowers have a slightly peppery flavor and are delicately fragrant, while the leaves boast a pleasantly grassy, sour taste.
Fresh Pelargonium sidoides can also be used in tea by steeping 1/4 cup of chopped leaves and flowers with 1 c boiling hot water. Many believe that sipping Pelargonium sidoides tea may help ease indigestion.
It would help if you didn’t consume too much fresh Pelargonium sidoides, as the plant’s oxalic acid may cause nausea, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Also, steer clear of flowers and leaves exposed to chemical fertilizers or sprayed with pesticides.
In terms of medicinal use, the Pelargonium sidoides herb’s root is said to be more effective than its leaves, stems, or blossoms.
You can click here to learn more about Pelargonium sidoides’ clinical efficacy and safety for treating acute respiratory tract infections in children.