Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides

Common Names

  • EPs 7630

For Patients & Caregivers

Bottom line: 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 in treating 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.

Bronchitis:
In this study, 468 adults presenting with symptoms of bronchitis were randomized to Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) or placebo for seven days. On day seven, researchers observed that the treatment group had a higher recovery rate and improvement in hoarseness, headache and pain in limbs compared to patients on placebo. Patients in the treatment group also had a shorter duration of illness compared to those who took placebo.

In another study 124 adults aged 18 years and over with a Bronchitis Severity Score (BSS) of greater than 5 points were randomized to Pelargonium sidoides liquid or placebo. Patients who were administered P. sidoides had a greater reduction in BSS than those on placebo.

  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Ear and labyrinth 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, and dysentery 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
  • Polymeric proanthocyanidins
  • Monomeric falvan-3-ols
  • 7-Hydroxyl-Coumarins (umckalin)
  • Polyphenols (catechin)
  • Phenolic acids with gallic acid
  • Quercetin
  • Sitosterol-glucoside
    (1)(5)

P. sidoides extract has anti-microbial and immunomodulatory effects. It 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). P. sidoides extract has anti-HIV effect by 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).

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.
In this study, 468 adults presenting with bronchitis were randomized, to Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) or placebo for seven days. On day seven, the treatment group had a higher recovery rate and improvement in hoarseness, headache and pain in limbs compared to patients on placebo. Patients in the treatment group also had a shorter duration of illness compared to those who took placebo.

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.
One hundred and twenty-four adults aged 18 years and over with a Bronchitis Severity Score (BSS) of greater than 5 points were randomized to Pelargonium sidoides liquid or placebo for seven days. Researchers report that on day seven, patients who were administered P. sidoides had a greater reduction in BSS, the primary outcome measure, than those on placebo. The findings should be confirmed in larger trials.


  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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