Pelargonium Sidoides Side Effects and Benefits

Umckaloabo or Pelargonium sidoides is a native plant of coastal mountainous regions of South Africa. The name “Umckaloabo” is derived from 2 regional vocable; “umkhuhlane,” meaning fever and cough concerned ilness, and “uhlabo,” meaning chest pain. An ethanolic extract of the roots of Pelargonium sidoides has been sold in Germany under the name Umckaloabo since 1983.

Umcka Benefits and Clinical Trials

Umckaloabo and their constituents have immunomodulation and antibacterial effects that help fight infections, particularly in the respiratory tract. It has a unparalleled pharmacological activity which is ideal for the  therapy of respiratory tract infections; It activates anti-viral defence, fights bacteria, and is mucolytic.

Umckaloabo extracts have been shown to have antibacterial effects against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms. Researches demonstrated that P. sidoides improves complementary anti-infective effects to group A streptococci. Decreases bacterial adhesion to intact epithelial cells and therefore protects the organism from bacterial colonization and infection.

In a 2005 study analyzed the effect of umckaloabo on group A-streptococcus, bacteria that can causes skin and throat illness such as strep throat. Researchers determined the umckaloabo decreases bacterial adhesion to the cells that form a protective layer in the throat,  and renders inactive decaying cells in the mouth, thus protecting against infection and recurrent infections.

patientRandomized controlled a clinical trial 103 patients with nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, sneezing, scratchy throat, headache, muscle aches, and fever were evaluated. After 10 days of therapy 78 percent of treated patients 32 percent of the placebo group had complete relaxation of symptoms. A double-blind study of 133 participant who had only come down with the common cold found that use of a standardized umckaloabo extract at a dose of 30 ml three times daily significantly decreased the severity and duration of symptoms as compared to placebo.

In a study 124 adults with a Bronchitis Severity Score (BSS) of greater than 5 points were randomized to umckaloabo or placebo for 7 days. Patients who were administered umckaloabo had a greater decrease in “Bronchitis Severity Score” than those on placebo. In a clinical study with 468 participant with bronchitis received 4.5 ml  of the P. sidoides extract or a placebo for seven days. Important differences were found between the 2 group, with the umckaloabo extracts group reporting less severity of bronchitis symptoms. At the start of the study, 67 percent of the patients were unable to work. Just 16 percent of the umcka extract group was unable to work while 43 percent  of the placebo group was still unable to work.

EPs 7630 is a specific extract from the roots of the P. sidoides. This product has been the subject of 20 clinical studies involving more than 9,000 patients, including 3,900 children. Clinical studies have shown that EPs 7630, an aqueous ethanolic extract from the roots of umckaloabo, is an effective therapy for respiratory tract infections.

Scientists at the “University Hospital Freiburg” analyzed 406 patients throughout 7 day-long clinical trial. Three of the four groups received different doses of EPs 7630, 3 times daily. The last group received a placebo 3 times daily. The experts used a scoring method to evaluate the overall change in bronchitis symptoms and noted that all 3 EPs 7630 therapy groups saw a noteworthy reduce in symptoms compared to the placebo group. In a randomized, double-blind study in Germany, 217 patients with acute bronchitis received umckaloabo or placebo 3 times a day for 7 days to treat symptoms of acute bronchitis. Participants taking the EPs 7630 reported noteworthy development in ease of  breathing, cough, chest pain during cough, and mucus levels.


The recommended adult  dose of the standardized root extract is 30 drops 3  times daily. For children 6-11, this dose is usually reduced to 20 drops 3 times daily. For different respiratory tract problems, 30 drops of a certain extract (EPs 7630) has been taken three times daily for 10 days. For acute pharyngitis, 20 drops of EPs 7630 solution has been taken 3 times daily for 7 days in children 6-11 years old.

Pelargonium Sidoides Side Effects

Adverse effects are rare and have consisted usually of skin rash or mild gastrointestinal upset. Refrain in individuals with a known allergy to umckaloabo, its constituents, or members of the plant family Geraniaceae. Is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of sufficient evidence. They  should not be used, in children under the age of 6 years without consulting a physician.

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