Phone

Supplements

Pelargonium sidoides (African geranium)

What Is It?
Health Benefits
Forms
Dosage Information
Guidelines for Use
General Interaction
Possible Side Effects
Cautions
Evidence Based Rating Scale
References  

 

 

What Is It?

Commonly known as geranium, Pelargonium sidoides is part of a genus of flowering plants first cultivated in South Africa. Geraniums, which bloom in a variety of shapes and colors, are typically grown for their beauty; and some fragrant species of Pelargonium are used to create perfumes. But the P. sidoides species also offers medicinal benefits. It has a long history in tribal South Africa as being used to treat coughs, upper respiratory infections and gastrointestinal illnesses. P. sidoides is often marketed as EPs 7630 or "Umcka", from Umckaloabo, meaning “heavy cough” in Zulu tribal language. 

Health Benefits 

The root extracts of Pelargonium sidoides and their constituents have antibacterial and immunomodulation properties that help fight infections, especially in the respiratory tract.  

Unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, found in the roots of P. sidoides have antimycobacterium actions, which can help prevent diseases like tuberculosis or leprosy.  

Specifically, P. sidoides may help to: 

Reduce cough, symptoms of acute bronchitis and treat upper respiratory infections such as strep throat. Several clinical studies of EPs 7630 have examined the efficacy and safety of P. Sidoides in the treatment of acute bronchitis, which occurs when a virus or bacteria inflames the bronchial tubes. Along with bronchitis comes a raw, hacking, painful cough. Acute bronchitis is conventionally treated with antibiotics, but scientific evidence is now focusing on treating bronchitis in early stages with EPs 7630 to avoid using antibiotic therapy. In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study in Germany, 217 patients with acute bronchitis received either EPs 7630 or placebo three times a day for seven days to treat symptoms of acute bronchitis. Patients taking the EPs 7630 formula reported significant improvement in ease of breathing, cough, chest pain during cough, and mucus levels. (1) The formula was determined to be an effective therapeutic option to treat acute bronchitis before antibiotics are required. (2) The studies have determined taking EPs 7630 within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms will significantly reduce acute bronchitis symptoms in adults, children and infants. (3, 4) A 2003 study also comparing the effectiveness of P. sidoides extracts over placebo therapy in 468 adult patients with acute bronchitis found EPs 7630 clearly reduced symptoms and shortened the duration of working inability for nearly two days. (5) 

A 2005 study investigated the effect of EPs 7630 on group A-streptococci, bacteria that can causes skin and throat diseases such as strep throat. Scientists determined the P. sidoides extract reduces bacterial adhesion to the cells that form a protective layer in the throat, and it traps and renders inactive decaying cells in the mouth, thus protecting against infection and recurrent infections. (6) 

Previous clinical studies examining the constituents of EPs 7630 determined properties that fight against Staphylococcus, a bacterium that occurs in clusters in the skin and mucous membranes and can cause disease. This evidence, combined with further examination of the formula’s other constituents, indicated EPs 7630 is an effective treatment against respiratory tract infections. (7, 8, 9)  

Reduce sore throat and tonsillopharyngitis in children. The antibacterial properties of EPs 7630 also have been found to help ease symptoms of sore throat and tonsillopharyngitis – infection of the pharynx or tonsils, or both. In a 2003 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the Ukraine, 143 children ages 6 to 10 with tonsillopharyngitis received EPs 7630 or placebo for six days. Symptoms such as sore throat and difficulty breathing significantly improved after four days of treatment in children taking the P. sidoides extract. Consequently, the duration of the illness was shortened by at least two days. (10)

Treat tuberculosis. In vitro studies have found the root extract EPs 7630 also is active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an infection that causes small rounded swellings (tubercles) to form on mucous membranes, especially in the lungs. (7, 11) 

Forms

  • extract
  • tablet 

Dosage Information 

  • Orally: For acute bronchitis, 30 drops of a standardized extract three times a day (about 4.5 mL/day) of EPs 7630 for seven days.
  • Orally: For sore throats in children aged 6-10 years, 20 drops of a standardized extract three times a day (3 mL/day) for seven days. 

Guidelines for Use 

Follow the instructions on the label. Some geranium oils are used in aromatherapy, so the scent can be over-powering. But in general, it is not toxic and does not generally cause irritation. 

General Interaction 

There are no known supplement or food interactions associated with P. sidoides. 

Possible Side Effects 

There are no known side effects associated with P. sidoides. 

Cautions 

Clinical studies thus far have focused on short-term (up to seven days) doses of oral P. sidoides, which appear to be well-tolerated in adults and children. However, an adequate safety assessment has not been conducted on long-term use. 

P. sidoides is not recommended during pregnancy or lactation.

 Evidence Based Rating Scale 

The Evidence Based Rating Scale is a tool that helps consumers translate the findings of medical research studies with what our clinical advisors have found to be efficacious in their personal practice. This tool is meant to simplify which supplements and therapies demonstrate promise in the treatment of certain conditions. This scale does not take into account any possible interactions with any medication/ condition/ or therapy which you may be currently undertaking. It is therefore advisable to ask your doctor before starting any new treatment regimen.

Condition

Rating

Explanation

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

Acute Bronchitis

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical studies have shown some efficacy in reducing symptoms when used short-term (up to seven days). However standardization of dosing remains somewhat unclear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper respiratory infections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical studies have shown some efficacy in reducing symptoms when taken at onset and preventing infection and recurrent infection. However standardization of dosing remains somewhat unclear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonsillopharyngitis

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Date Published: 06/11/2007

Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version Return to Top


© 2000- 2017 . WholeHealthMD.com, LLC. 21251 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 150, Sterling, VA 20166. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Privacy Policy

Disclaimer: All material provided in the WholeHealthMD website is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any information provided in the WholeHealthMD website to your symptoms or medical condition.