Pelargonium sidoides, known by common names such as South African geranium, cape pelargonium, and black geranium, are herbs used in traditional medicine in South Africa. The roots of the plants are distilled into an extract. They are used to treat gastrointestinal diseases, cold and flu treatments, respiratory infections, etc., to treat symptoms and alleviate the duration of the disease. Additionally, it can be helpful for people suffering from certain lung ailments.
Scientists say pelargonium sidoides can help fight upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and colds. This is because it naturally increases the body’s healing ability. For example, people with acute bronchitis may eventually resolve symptoms within a week of consumption.
The growing demand for pelargonium sidoides around the world has led to local Overexploitation of its natural populations in parts of southern Africa. Today brands like Umckaloabo and Kaloban sell it widely as herbal medicine.
Benefits of Pelargonium Sidoides:
1. Helps in the Treatment of Respiratory Diseases:
One of the main benefits of Pelargonium sidoides is their effectiveness in the treatment of acute bronchitis. This is because it enhances the body’s natural healing ability. According to the survey, almost 50% of people with acute bronchitis who completed it recovered completely within a week. Some people have experienced benefits within two to three days. At the same time, people who did not heal within a week continued to benefit from supplementing it. It also helps treat the symptoms associated with bronchitis, which include fever, headache, cough, sputum in the lungs, fatigue, snoring, runny nose, and chest pain when coughing.
2. Antibacterial Properties:
Pelargonium sidoides have antibacterial properties. Helps remove bacteria that attach to cells, helps fight viruses, and helps boost the immune system to detect foreign invaders. In addition, it helps fight Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacterium known to cause stomach ulcers. In addition, it could also reduce the risk of herpes simplex virus replication. Local groups use the plant extensively as a traditional medicine to treat various ailments. For example, it helps treat tuberculosis, gastritis, diarrhea, colic, gonorrhea, menstrual disorders, coughs, and liver disorders.
3. Good for Skin Health:
Pelargonium sidoides are known to have antimicrobial properties. People apply its plant material powder, soaked in water, as a face cream to treat acne on the skin. Pelargonium sidoides oils have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which naturally improve skin health and provide a healthy glow. In addition, they help the condition of the skin, soothe irritated skin and help fight the elements.
4. Helps Treat Stomach Ailments:
People use pelargonium sidoides roots as the main ingredient in a topical treatment used to treat a stomach condition in children called instal.
5. Helps in the Treatment of Various Diseases:
One of the most beloved herbal remedies for pelargonium sidoides was the treatment of tuberculosis, which eventually led to its founding in Europe in the late 1890s.
6. Used in Ethnoveterinary Applications:
Pelargonium sidoides also have traditional veterinary applications. For example, people use decoctions of its root as an anthelmintic in calves. People also use treatments made from boiled leaves to protect themselves from worm wounds and prevent bleeding in horses. Finally, drug companies use it to Parasitize drugs such as ivermectin, disrupting the bacterial cycle and killing already established bacteria.
7. Pelargonium Sidoides Contains Healthy Metabolites:
Pelargonium sidoides DC and pelargonium Reniforme are associated with the origin of the herbal medicine called Umckaloabo, which has a remarkable diversity and complexity. In addition, it contains reasonable amounts of simple oxygenated Coumarins. Therefore, it is an excellent source of secondary metabolites.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions:
The safety of this herbal medicine has not yet been thoroughly tested. Generally, known side effects of pelargonium sidoides include heartburn, nausea, worsening respiratory symptoms, and stomach pain.
Contains a coumarin compound that acts as an anticoagulant, as an anticoagulant. Therefore, you should avoid taking it if you are taking prescription blood thinners like warfarin, etc. It can cause excessive bleeding. For the same reason, you should stop taking at least two weeks before a dental or surgical procedure. People with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, autoimmune hepatitis, and psoriasis should also use pelargonium sidoides with caution as they can activate antibodies that cause autoimmune symptoms.
Subsequent or excessive intake of pelargonium sidoides can cause liver damage. According to a 2016 surveillance study from Germany, pelargonium sidoides were among five herbs suspected of causing liver toxicity when used for medical purposes. The other four herbs included were mint (Mentha Piperita), valerian (valerian), Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), and Hypericum Perforatum.
Always consult your doctor before using pelargonium sidoides or any herbal supplement. Call for immediate help if you experience signs or symptoms of liver toxicity such as stomach pain, yellow skin, and eyes, light-colored stools, dark urine, or fatigue from consuming high concentrations of extracts. Also, due to a lack of safety research, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and babies should not use its remedies.
Preparation and Doses:
There are no specific guidelines for the approximate supplementation of pelargonium sidoides. However, the safe dosage can vary depending on the severity of the disease. Additionally, factors such as general health, weight, gender, age, and ongoing medications can affect it. Pharmacies sell sidoides treatments in various forms such as gel capsules, oral suspensions, tinctures, extracts, or syrups. As a general rule, always read the labels for instructions and never use more than indicated on the product label. Furthermore, it is still unclear how toxic pelargonium sidoides supplements are.