Pelargonium sidoides

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Pelargonium sidoides

Common Names

  • EPs 7630

For Patients & Caregivers

How It Works

Pelargonium sidoides helps reduce cold symptoms.

Pelargonium sidoides is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine in South Africa for centuries. It is used in Europe to treat the common cold and bronchitis. In laboratory studies, this herb was shown to kill bacteria, viruses, and stimulate the immune system. Human studies show that it can reduce the symptoms of common cold and bronchitis.

Purported Uses
  • Common cold
    Several studies support use of P. sidoides in reducing symptoms.
  • Bronchitis
    Clinical trial data shows that P. sidoides is effective against acute and chronic bronchitis.
  • Dysentery or Diarrhea
    Although P. sidoides is used to treat dysentery in traditional medicine, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
Side Effects
  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Ear and inner ear disorders
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
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For Healthcare Professionals

Brand Name
Umckaloabo®, Umcka® cold care
Scientific Name
Pelargonium sidoides
Clinical Summary

Pelargonium sidoides is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine in South Africa for centuries to treat infectious respiratory disease, dysentery, and diarrhea. The root extracts are used in Germany for the treatment of respiratory infections (1). Patients take the supplemental form to treat the common cold and acute bronchitis. In vitro studies indicate that P. sidoides has antibacterial (2), antiviral (3) (16) (17) (18), immunomodulatory (4), and anti-adhesive (5) properties.

Data from clinical trials suggest effectiveness against acute bronchitis (6) (7) (8) and against rhinosinusitis (9). Meta-analyses suggest a significant decrease in bronchitis symptoms with P. sidoides use (10) and benefit in pediatric respiratory tract infections (19). An herbal preparation from P. sidoides root was found effective for moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (15).

Purported Uses
  • Common cold
  • Bronchitis
  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea
Mechanism of Action

Polyphenols (eg, catechin) and 7-hydroxy-coumarins (eg, umckalin), the main constituents, have antimicrobial and immunomodulatory effects (1). Other constituents include polymeric proanthocyanidins, monomeric flavan-3-ols, phenolic acids, and gallic acid as well as small amounts of quercetin and sitosterol-glucoside (5).

P. sidoides extract increased natural killer cell formation, tumor necrosis factor alpha, iNO, and interferon-beta release, and also demonstrated anti-adhesive effects (5). In addition, the extract improved peripheral blood phagocytes by enhancing oxidative burst and intracellular killing in vitro (11). Anti-HIV effects may occur through inhibiting the attachment of viral particles to target cells (17).

Adverse Reactions
  • Allergic reactions (12)
  • Gastrointestinal upset (13)
  • Ear and labyrinth disorders (13)
  • Exacerbation of respiratory symptoms, fever, exanthema, psychomotor unrest, and diarrhea in children have been reported (8).
Herb-Drug Interactions

Warfarin: Due to its coumarin content, P. sidoides may increase the risk of bleeding. However, coadministration with warfarin did not change the blood coagulation values in animals (14). Clinical relevance has yet to be determined.

Dosage (OneMSK Only)
References
  1. Schulz V. Liquid herbal drug preparation from the root of Pelargonium sidoides is effective against acute bronchitis: results of a double-blind study with 124 patients. Phytomedicine. 2007;14 Suppl 6:74-75.
  2. Kim CE, Griffiths WJ, Taylor PW. Components derived from Pelargonium stimulate macrophage killing of Mycobacterium species. J Appl Microbiol. Apr 2009;106(4):1184-1193.
  3. Michaelis M, Doerr HW, Cinatl J, Jr. Investigation of the influence of EPs((R)) 7630, a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides, on replication of a broad panel of respiratory viruses. Phytomedicine. 2011 Mar 15;18(5):384-6.
  4. Luna LA, Jr., Bachi AL, Novaes EBRR, et al. Immune responses induced by Pelargonium sidoides extract in serum and nasal mucosa of athletes after exhaustive exercise: Modulation of secretory IgA, IL-6 and IL-15. Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):303-8.
  5. Wittschier N, Faller G, Hensel A. An extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) inhibits in situ adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to human stomach. Phytomedicine. Apr 2007;14(4):285-288.
  6. Matthys H, Heger M. Treatment of acute bronchitis with a liquid herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study. Curr Med Res Opin. Feb 2007;23(2):323-331.
  7. Kamin W, Maydannik V, Malek FA, Kieser M. Efficacy and tolerability of EPs 7630 in children and adolescents with acute bronchitis - a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial with a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides roots. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. Mar 2010;48(3):184-191.
  8. Haidvogl M, Heger M. Treatment effect and safety of EPs 7630-solution in acute bronchitis in childhood: Report of a multicentre observational study. Phytomedicine. 2007;14 Suppl 6:60-64.
  9. Bachert C, Schapowal A, Funk P, Kieser M. Treatment of acute rhinosinusitis with the preparation from Pelargonium sidoides EPs 7630: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Rhinology. Mar 2009;47(1):51-58.
  10. Agbabiaka TB, Guo R, Ernst E. Pelargonium sidoides for acute bronchitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine. May 2008;15(5):378-385.
  11. Conrad A, Hansmann C, Engels I, Daschner FD, Frank U. Extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) improves phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and intracellular killing of human peripheral blood phagocytes in vitro. Phytomedicine. 2007;14 Suppl 6:46-51.
  12. de Boer HJ, Hagemann U, Bate J, Meyboom RH. Allergic reactions to medicines derived from Pelargonium species. Drug Saf. 2007;30(8):677-680.
  13. Matthys H, Eisebitt R, Seith B, Heger M. Efficacy and safety of an extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) in adults with acute bronchitis. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003;10 Suppl 4:7-17.
  14. Koch E, Biber A. Treatment of rats with the Pelargonium sidoides extract EPs 7630 has no effect on blood coagulation parameters or on the pharmacokinetics of warfarin. Phytomedicine. 2007;14 Suppl 6:40-45.
  15. Matthys H, Pliskevich DA, Bondarchuk OM, et al. Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of EPs 7630 in adults with COPD. Respir Med. 2013 May;107(5):691-701.
  16. Theisen LL1, Muller CP. EPs® 7630 (Umckaloabo®), an extract from Pelargonium sidoides roots, exerts anti-influenza virus activity in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 2012 May;94(2):147-56.
  17. Helfer M, Koppensteiner H, Schneider M, et al. The root extract of the medicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides is a potent HIV-1 attachment inhibitor. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 29;9(1):e87487.
  18. Roth M, Fang L, Stolz D, et al. Pelargonium sidoides radix extract EPs 7630 reduces rhinovirus infection through modulation of viral binding proteins on human bronchial epithelial cells. PLoS One. 2019;14(2):e0210702.
  19. Anheyer D, Cramer H, Lauche R, et al. Herbal Medicine in Children With Respiratory Tract Infection: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Acad Pediatr. Jan - Feb 2018;18(1):8-19.
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