- African geranium against tuberculosis
- African geranium for bronchitis and other respiratory diseases
- African pelargonium against H. pylori and herpes virus
- African geranium strengthens immunity
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African pelargonium is a plant whose healing properties were first known to the inhabitants of South Africa. In natural medicine, African pelargonium has been used as a remedy for respiratory diseases, also in young children. What other he alth effects does African pelargonium have, explains Dr. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak, head of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Silesia.
African pelargonium( Pelargonium sidoides ) is a plant whosehealing propertieswere first known South Africans. In natural medicine, African pelargonium - called "umckaloabo" by the Zulu tribe - foundusedas a remedy for cough, tuberculosis, gastritis, liver dysfunction, diarrhea, intestinal colic, menstrual ailments, gonorrhea and acne. Modern scientific research confirms some of these properties.
African geranium against tuberculosis
The African pelargonium reached Europe in the 19th century thanks to the British Charles Henry Stevens. He believed that African pelargonium was a miracle cure for tuberculosis, which was harvesting deadly at that time. Stevens struggled with the disease himself at the age of 17.
When doctors in Great Britain were unable to cure him, he went to Africa, where a local healer applied a mixture of African geranium root to him. Stevens recovered in 3 months. When he returned to his home country, he began selling African geranium root extract as a treatment for tuberculosis. Patients stopped using it only after the appearance of antibiotics.
African pelargonium is referred to as "umckaloabo" in the Zulu language, which means a sharp cough that local medicine says is effective in alleviating pelargonium.
In the twentieth century, it was scientifically demonstrated that Stevens was right and that African geranium did indeed exhibit anti-mycobacterial activity. His assumptions were first confirmed by a Swiss physician, Dr. Adrien Sechehaye, who successfully started therapy with this plant in his tuberculosis patients (until 1960). Dr. Sechehaye published a report of 65 cases of patients suffering from tuberculosis,cured with African geraniums.
In 1970, Dr. Sabine Bladt, a pharmacist at the University of Munich, identified the pharmacologically active compounds contained in this herb. The ingredients responsible for the healing effect of African geraniums are mainly coumarins. - Among these coumarins, 40 percent. is umckalin - coumarin, which is mainly responsible for the healing effect of African pelargonium - says Dr. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak, head of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Silesia. African pelargonium also contains other compounds with medicinal properties, such as phenols, carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, purine alkaloids.
African geranium for bronchitis and other respiratory diseases
Compounds contained in African pelargonium can help fight not only mycobacteria tuberculosis. The studies have shown the antibacterial properties of African pelargonium against eight strains of bacteria that are responsible for upper respiratory tract infections, such as: Staphylococcus aureus (golden staphylococcus), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and beta-hemolytic Streptococcus 1451 (streptococcus) and Escherichia pneumoniae, (pneumonia rod), Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (blue oil rod) and Haemophilus influenzae (influenza rod).
Coumarins prevent bacteria from sticking to the epithelium of the respiratory tract and facilitate their expectoration when coughing - says Dr. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak.
Studies involving 9218 adults and 3143 children from 0 to 12 years of age confirmed the effectiveness of ethanol extracts from pelargonium root in acute bronchitis, acute infectious sinusitis, colds, pharyngitis and tonsillitis - says dr hab. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak.
A significant improvement in the condition of patients with acute bronchitis taking pelargonium root extract 3 times a day at a dose of 30 drops (compared to the placebo group) was observed after 4 days of using the preparation. Symptoms, such as cough, sputum, lung rales, chest pain during coughing, dyspnoea, disappeared completely after 7 days of taking the preparation. Geranium root extract worked just as quickly against sinusitis, colds, and pharyngitis and tonsillitis. 80 percent children struggling with the latter disease returned to school 6 days after using the extract (20 drops, 3 times a day). After using the placebo, 20 percent returned to school. children.According to an expertdr hab. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak, head of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Warsaw
African geranium - contraindications and drug interactions
I am not aware of any contraindications to the use of preparations with African pelargonium. They can also be taken by pregnant women. However, pregnant women should read the leaflet before consumption, in which the manufacturer specifies the rules for using the preparation during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It is possible that pelargonium interacts with medications and other herbs, but studies have not been done. Therefore, we must always be careful, observe people who use the preparation.
African pelargonium against H. pylori and herpes virus
Studies have shown that African pelargonium root ethanol extract inhibits the growth of H. pylori bacteria, and also inhibits its adherence to the gastric epithelium and gastrointestinal mucosa, which may protect against the development of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
The antiviral effect of water extracts from African geranium root against the herpes virus: HSV 1 (labial) and HSV 2 (genital) has also been proven. The mentioned extracts inhibited the multiplication of the virus both in the initial stage of infection and after the pathogen penetrated the cell interior. This is unlike acyclovir, a very widely used antiviral drug that only works at an advanced stage of infection, i.e. after the herpes virus has entered the cell.
- All data comes from the European Medicines Agency, which is very rigorous, only takes into account the best, high-class studies that really indicate the properties of the treatment - emphasizes Dr. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak.
African geranium strengthens immunity
African pelargonium root extract has immunostimulating properties - it activates the cells of the immune system to function. They increase, among others the activity of macrophages, the main function of which is to "devour" what can be dangerous to the body: bacteria, viruses. As a result, people taking them are less prone to infections, especially in the area of the upper respiratory tract.
Preparations with African pelargonium can be used in children from 1 year of age.According to an expertdr hab. n. farm. Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak, head of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Warsaw
African geranium - side effects
Side effects are rare and include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, slight diarrhea, indigestion.It is associated with intolerance to the digestive system while taking the preparation. There are no serious side effects to be concerned about affecting the nervous or circulatory system.