Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides

Common Names

  • EPs 7630

For Patients & Caregivers

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.

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

Umckaloabo®, Umcka® cold care
Pelargonium sidoides

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 currently being used in Germany for the treatment of respiratory infections (1). Patients take the supplemental form to treat common cold and acute bronchitis. In vitro studies indicate that P. sidoides has antibacterial (2), antiviral (3) (16) (17), immunomodulatory (4) and anti-adhesive (5) properties.

Data from clinical trials suggest its effectiveness against acute bronchitis in adults and children (6) (7) (8), and against rhinosinusitis (9). Conclusions of a meta-analysis also show a significant decrease in bronchitis symptoms with P. sidoides use (10). An herbal preparation from P. sidoides roots was found effective in treatment of moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (15).

  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea
  • Common cold
  • Bronchitis

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

P. sidoides extract was shown to increase 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 the oxidative burst and intracellular killing in vitro (11) and its anti-HIV effects occur through inhibiting the attachment of viral particles to target cells (17).

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

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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Agbabiaka TB, Guo R, Ernst E. Pelargonium sidoides for acute bronchitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine. May 2008;15(5):378-385.

  5. de Boer HJ, Hagemann U, Bate J, Meyboom RH. Allergic reactions to medicines derived from Pelargonium species. Drug Saf. 2007;30(8):677-680.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2012.03.006.

  8. 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. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087487. eCollection 2014.

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