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6 reasons to take pelargonium

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Pelargonium is a traditional herbal remedy derived from the roots of a South African geranium, Pelargonium sidoides.  Its Zulu name is Umckaloabo, which means ‘for heavy cough and chest problems’. Modern research supports this use, and in my experience, it is more effective than anything I can prescribe as a doctor. The earlier you start taking it after symptoms start, the better. In many cases it will stop the cold in its tracks.

1. Pelargonium works on several different levels

Pelargonium contains several unique substances that have direct antiviral and antibiotic activity. It boosts the activity of immune cells that absorb and neutralise infections, and stops bacteria from sticking to cell walls so they are dislodged more easily. It also speeds the rate at which mucus is cleared from the respiratory tract. 

2. Pelargonium is effective for treating the common cold  

A clinical trial involving 103 people with a bad cold showed that Pelargonium significantly improved symptoms. After 5 days, symptom scores were significantly improved in those taking Pelargonium compared with placebo (14.6 point improvement versus 7.6 with placebo). After 10 days, 78.8% of those receiving treatment were clinically cured, versus only 31.4% taking placebo[i]. Pelargonium is particularly effective in reducing sore throat, cough, runny and blocked nose. 

3. Pelargonium is effective against bronchitis

The results of 4 clinical trials involving adults and children with acute bronchitis showed that Pelargonium sidoides extracts are significantly more effective than placebo or standard non-antibiotic treatments in treating acute bronchitis[ii].  

4. Pelargonium is effective against sinusitis

A clinical trial involving 105 people with bacterial sinusitis showed that taking Pelargonium significantly improved symptoms, producing a faster recovery than placebo, and with no significant side effects[iii].

5. Pelargonium is effective against tonsillitis

A study involving 143 children with tonsillitis showed that taking Pelargonium produced significant improvements in symptoms compared with placebo. Treatment reduced the severity of pain and shortened the duration of sore throat by at least 2 days[iv].

6. Pelargonium is licensed as a Traditional Herbal Remedy

As a herbal medicine, Pelargonium undergoes extensive quality assurance testing in the same way as conventional pharmaceutical drugs. These manufacturing standards are strictly enforced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

We have established the many benefits of Pelargonium. To make the most of these benefits, try Healthspan's Pelargonium Cold Relief tablets.

Sarah Brewer graduated as a doctor from Cambridge University. Having worked in hospitals and general practice, she gained a Master's degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey. She is the author of over 60 popular health books and writes widely on all aspects of health including complementary medicine. More from this expert.

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