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Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides, also known as African geranium, is a plant-derived pharmaceutical used to treat acute bronchitis. It may also act as an immune system booster, and alleviate symptoms of the common cold and herpes.

Our evidence-based analysis on pelargonium sidoides features 79 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Pelargonium sidoides

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Pelargonium sidoides, commonly known as African geranium, is a medicinal herb. It is also sold under the brand names Kaloban and Umckaloabo as a plant-derived pharmaceutical.

Pelargonium sidoides is very effective for treating acute bronchitis. It increases the body’s natural healing rate. Studies have found that 40-60% of patients suffering from acute bronchitis fully resolve their symptoms within a week of Pelargonium sidoides supplementation. Some people reported experiencing benefits after just two to three days. People that are not cured after a week still experience benefits from Pelargonium sidoides supplementation, since it can treat the symptoms associated with bronchitis, including headache, fever, fatigue, cough, chest pain while coughing, sputum in the lungs, rhonchi, and nasal dripping.

Preliminary evidence suggests Pelargonium sidoides can reduce the duration of the common cold, while treating symptoms. It may also provide benefits for people suffering from lung disorders, by alleviating flare-ups in symptoms.

Pelargonium sidoides has anti-infective properties. It prevents bacteria from adhering to cells, helps fight viruses and stimulates the immune system to hunt down invaders.

Pelargonium sidoides may be able to fight Helicobacter pylori infection, which is the stomach bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. Pelargonium sidoides may also reduce the replication of the herpes simplex virus.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

To supplement Pelargonium sidoides, take the patented extract EPS7630, which is an 11% ethanolic root extract.

The extract is concentrated to 1:8-10, so there is some variability with the recommended dosages. To supplement the extract, take 4.5mL of the tincture (30 drops) or 30 mg of the capsules. Dosages vary by age:

• 10 drops (1.5mL) or 10mg of EPs7630 is taken thrice daily before meals for those under six years of age • 20 drops (3.0mL) or 20mg of EPs7630 is taken thrice daily before meals for those between six and twelve • 30 drops (4.5mL) or 30mg of EPs7630 is taken thrice daily before meals for those above twelve years of age

While the vast majority of studies have used EPs7630 specifically, any hydroalcoholic (water and ethanol) extraction equal to 800mg of the plant can be used as an alternative.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Pelargonium sidoides has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Strong Very High See all 11 studies
The standard dose of EPs7630 appears to greatly reduce all symptoms of acute bronchitis, being able to outright eliminate symptoms in as little as 60% of patients (cough and hoarseness related) and up to 95% of persons (sputum and rhonchi related) with efficacy within three days increase over two weeks.
grade-a Minor Very High See all 12 studies
Symptoms of cough, in the context of acute bronchitis, are reduce in most subjects with around 50-60% of subjects reporting remission. There isn't an improvement in other lung disorders though, so this is more reflective of treatment of acute bronchitis.
grade-a Minor Very High See all 10 studies
Headaches as a side effect of acute bronchitis are pretty much abolished with the treatment of acute bronchitis from this herb; it is doubtful that headaches from other causes aside from sickness are treated in a similar manner.
grade-a Minor Very High See all 10 studies
Secondary to treating sickness (bronchitis, URTIs, common cold) there is improvement in sputum content, rhonchi, breathing, coughing, and chest pain while coughing relative to placebo; while the improvements are marked, they only occur secondary to treating illness.
grade-b Notable High See all 9 studies
Fever as a side effect of acute bronchitis is reduced quite potently (80-90% of persons reporting elimination of fever) due to the potent treatment of acute bronchitis, but there is no inherent anti-pyretic effect of this herb in other instances.
grade-b Notable Very High See all 4 studies
Nasal congestion appears to be decreased with supplementation of this herb, and while this is noted in acute bronchitis (most potently) it also affects other bacterial or viral instances such as the common cold and acute rhinosinitus.
grade-b Notable Very High See all 5 studies
Rhonchi (coarse rattling sound associated with mucus in the airway, similar to wheezing and crackles) appears to be eliminated in more than 90% of persons (with bronchitis) using the standard dose of this supplement within a week.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 7 studies
Fatigue as a side-effect of acute bronchitis is reduced quite respectably relative to placebo.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 4 studies
Alongside improvements in sickness comes improved well being and vitality associated with supplementation over placebo.
grade-c Notable - See study
The decrease in Immunoglobulin A noted with exercise in one study in marathon runners (60% relative to baseline) was reversed to a large increase (194% relative to baseline) when measured after exercise.
grade-c Notable - See study
All symptoms appear to be reduced with treatment of the standard dose of EPs7630. With symptom reduction after five days and the amount of persons with full resolution of symptoms being more than doubled relative to placebo.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
There appears to be an increase in appetite during sickness in those given this supplement, and surprisingly this may not be limited to acute bronchitis.
grade-c Minor - See study
In children with upper respiratory tract infections and asthma, the amount of asthmatic attacks during sickness appears to be slightly but significantly reduced relative to placebo.
grade-c Minor - See study
Although rates of sickness were not assessed, the alterations in the cytokine/immunoglobulin profile (increase in Immunoglobulin A, suppressing of IL-6 and IL-15) suggest less immunosuppression from exercise.
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Nausea as a side-effect of acute bronchitis may be reduced, although studies assessing nausea/vomiting outside of acute bronchitis have failed to find an effect despite the subjects being sick.
grade-c Minor - See study
In children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), supplementation is effective in reducing symptom severity.
grade-c - - See study
There are no improvements in running performance in otherwise healthy athletes given this supplement for one month

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

African Geranium, South African Geranium, Kaloban EPs7630, EPs 7630, Umckaloabo, rabas

Do Not Confuse With

Pelargonidin (Isolated anthocyanin), Ginkgo biloba (EGb-761)

  • This plant appears to be somewhat threatened at this point in time due to unsustainable harvesting techniques

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Click here to see all 79 references.