South African Geranium

Understanding COPD

What other names is Umckaloabo known by?

African Geranium, EPs 7630, Geranien, Geranio Sudafricano, Geranium, Géranium d'Afrique, Géranium d'Afrique du Sud, Géranium du Cap, Geranium Root, Ikhubalo, Icwayiba, i-Yeza lezikali, Kalwerbossi, Khoaara e Nyenyane, Pelargonien, Pelargonio Sudafricano, Pelargonium Root, Pélargonium d'Afrique, Pélargonium du Cap, Pelargonium sidoides, Rabas, Rabassam, Racine de Géranium, Racine de Pélargonium, South African Geranium, Uvendle.

What is Umckaloabo?

Umckaloabo is a flowering plant that is native to South Africa, as the name suggests. Its roots are used for medicine.

Umckaloabo was first promoted in Britain in 1897 as a treatment for tuberculosis. It was marketed by Charles Henry Stevens and was known as "Stevens' Cure." It fell out of favor when antibiotics were developed in the mid-1900s.

These days umckaloabo is used for upper respiratory infections including bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, and the common cold. It is also used for sexually transmitted diseases including herpes and gonorrhea. Other uses include treatment of dysentery and diarrhea.

Likely Effective for...

  • Bronchitis. Research shows that adults and children with bronchitis who start taking a specific Umckaloabo extract (Umckaloabo, EPs 7630, Schwabe GmBh, Germany) within 48 hours of feeling sick have fewer symptoms after 7 days of treatment. Some studies have also used extracts in tablet form. However, the tablets seemed to work only for adults, not children.

Possibly Effective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Common cold. Early research suggests that taking Umckaloabo extract three times per day can help reduce symptoms and clear up the common cold after 10 days of treatment.
  • Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Early research suggests that taking Umckaloabo extract three times per day helps reduce symptoms and clear up sinusitis after 21 days of treatment.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate Umckaloabo for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideCOPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

How does Umckaloabo work?

Umckaloabo is usually used for infections such as bronchitis and sinus infection. Researchers think that it might work by killing bacteria or preventing bacteria from attaching to surfaces within the body. Umckaloabo might also increase the body's normal response to infection.

Are there safety concerns?

Umckaloabo extract is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 3 weeks. There is not enough information to know if it is safe when taken for longer periods of time. Some people who take it can experience stomach upset. Some people have had allergic reactions to Umckaloabo.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Umckaloabo if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Umckaloabo is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to one week. There is not enough information to know if it is safe when taken for longer periods of time.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Umckaloabo might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using Umckaloabo.

Bleeding disorders: A chemical in Umckaloabo, called coumarin, might slow blood clotting and increase bleeding. In theory, Umckaloabo might make bleeding disorders worse.

Surgery: A chemical in Umckaloabo, called coumarin, might slow blood clotting. In theory, Umckaloabo might increase the risk for bleeding during surgical procedures. Stop using Umckaloabo at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Umckaloabo might increase the activity of the immune system. Taking Umckaloabo along with some medications that decrease the immune system's activity might decrease the effectiveness of these medications.

Some medications that decrease the immune system's activity include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.



Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

A chemical in Umckaloabo, called coumarin, might slow blood clotting. Although the risk seems small, taking Umckaloabo along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.

Dosing considerations for Umckaloabo.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For bronchitis: 30 drops (about 1.5 mL) three times daily or 10-30 mg tablets three times daily of a specific extract of Umckaloabo (Umckaloabo, EPs 7630, Schwabe GmBh, Germany) for 7 days. In children age 7-12 years, 20 drops of this extract three times daily. In children age 6 years or less, 10 drops of this extract three times daily. Some studies have not found the tablet formulation to work in children.
  • For sore throat and swollen tonsils in children age 6-10 years: 20 drops of a specific extract of Umckaloabo (Umckaloabo, EPs 7630, Schwabe GmBh, Germany) three times daily (about 3 mL/day) for 7 days.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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