Did you know that Pelargonium is proven to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold?

I’m passionate about Pelargonium sidoides because it has remarkable potential for healing. We live in a world of synthetic chemical medicines that often cause imbalance to the body and I believe that we need the transition to natural medicines for a healthier people and planet. Pelargonium sidoides holds great potential in the world natural cold and flu phytomedicines as a herbal product that is both safe and highly effective.

My goal is to bring the healing properties of this beautiful medicinal plant to more people and more people across the globe. At Afrigetics we have made a sincere effort to be thought leaders and commercial experts with pelargonium sidoides so that we can offer our customers the best possible service.

Please give me your email address below if you’d like us to reach out to you to discuss this product and how it can fit into your product portfolio. I’d love to connect.

Perfect Pelargonium, Natures Powerhouse

Pelargonium sidoides is a small and humble shrub that grows abundantly in the sun warmed, stony soil of the South African Eastern Cape and Lesotho grasslands. Known locally by its common name, African geranium, it can be found nestled beneath tall grasses and aromatic floral neighbours on coastal slopes. The small indigenous herb has soft, velvety textured grey-green leaves and dark magenta coloured flowers.

This insignificant looking plant however contains a treasure trove of medicinal compounds and has been part of local healing practices for millennia. Pelargonium is an example of nature’s immune boosting and pathogen fighting power. It is celebrated as Afrigetics Botanicals’ flagship commercial herb.

African Ethnobotanical Origins

The original hunter gatherer inhabitants of Southern Africa, the Koi-San, knew of this herb and used it for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. Knowledge of the small bush later fell into the hands of the Cape Dutch colonists, who christened it Rooirabas, perhaps for its red tinted tuberous roots. Herdsmen dubbed the plant “Kalverbossie”, meaning ‘calf bush’ and used the woody twisted underground rhizomes to treat stomach complaints in their animals. It served in Cape herbal medicine as a tonic for weakness, fatigue and in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

The ethnobotanical potential of African Geranium was brought to Europe in the early 1900’s after a young explorer called Charles Henry Stevens was treated in South Africa for his pulmonary tuberculosis by a local healer. A bitter tea made of the roots of the plant drove his illness into remission. He then used the Umckaloabo herb to develop “Stevens’ Consumption Cure” and marketed it in England. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, well after Steven’s death that the plant ingredient of his remedy was identified as Pelargonium. In the 1990’s, a German drug manufacturer, Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, developed a highly popular herbal cough syrup

called “Umckaloabo” containing liquid extract Eps7630. In 2006, this company sold more than EUR80 million of this pelargonium based product. The drug is listed in the European and African Pharmacopoeia and has European approval as a herbal medicine and food supplement. Schwabe’s withdrawal of the patents for this medicine in 2010 has allowed other pharmaceutical companies to follow suit and explore the potential of this natural remedy.

Africa’s natural relief for colds, flu and respiratory tract infections.

Sustainable sourcing

Afrigetics Botanicals recognises the immense value in South Africa’s indigenous medicinal plants and works in partnership with KP Botanicals to provide a sustainable long-term supply of wild harvested Pelargonium.

Currently P. sidoides is listed on the Red Data List of South Africa’s species as of ‘least concern’, they state that less than 5% of the local population is being impacted by harvesting (Red Data List, 2017). Even so, strict controls by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs require collectors to obtain a bioprospecting licence. Within the constraints of the Biodiversity Act, KP Botanicals identifies areas of wild cultivation and trains harvesters in rural areas to identify and collect the Pelargonium. Care is taken to prevent overharvesting of the underground tuberous roots and so to provide a supply for posterity, protect the herb from extinction and to provide an ongoing livelihood for local collectors. Many of the collectors subcontracted by KP Botanicals are elderly members in their communities with rich traditional knowledge of indigenous plants.

Harvesters actively propagate the plant material as it is collected, by breaking off aerial shoots and replanting the cuttings. They leave the deeper, more mature roots in the soil, to allow for rapid regrowth after harvesting. In addition to supplementing their income, and under the stipulations of the Biodiversity Act, local collectors and land owners profit from a benefit sharing agreement where a rand value of their harvest is paid into a government controlled ‘Bioprospecting Trust Fund’ for distribution within the community. Afrigetics Botanicals recognises that despite its best efforts, currently

well managed wild stocks may be subject to depletion in the future and are actively working with the University of Stellenbosch towards refining a cultivation system for P. sidoides. Plant breeding practices will be used to identify cultivars with the highest levels of active ingredients and grow these on specialized farms in the Eden District using ecological cultivation methods.

With this aim in mind, our partners have entered into a benefit sharing agreement with the indigenous communities of Southern Africa who harvest our herbs through a network of 350 families.

Furthermore, as licensed collaborators of a bioprospectors permit, we are poised to continue unlocking the potential of Africa’s Green Gold, for many years to come.

Pharmacological Action

Pelargonium acts by preventing bacteria from sticking to the cells lining the respiratory system and by stimulating white blood cells to attack and destroy these invading bacteria. The chemicals contained in this medicine also help to support the immune system by producing specific proteins, called defensins, to protect cells from invasion. The antiviral properties of P. sidoides lies in its ability to stimulate the body’s cells to produce interferon, a chemical that ‘interferes’ with virus replication. Its antibacterial effect is attributed to chemicals in the extract causing the tiny hair-like projections which line our respiratory tract, called cilia, to beat faster and to expel mucous. In addition, chemicals found in the plant have a mucolytic effect, helping to dissolve thick mucus in the airways.

There is no cure for the common cold, since it is spread by a virus, but Pelargonium has been proven to aid healing. This herbal medicine has been shown to be safe and effective and may form an important alternative to antibiotics.

Many pharmaceutical companies use ethanol to extract the active ingredients from the pelargonium root. These extracts have proven effective for the treatment of respiratory tract infections including bronchitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis and the common cold. Clinical trials have shown the medicine to reduce both the duration and everity of these illnesses.

One such preparation, Eps7630, prepared by Schwabe Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of over 20 clinical studies, involving 9000 people.

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Many pharmaceutical companies use ethanol to extract active ingredients from the pelargonium root. These extracts have proven effective for the treatment of respiratory tract infections including bronchitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis and the common cold. Clinical trials have shown the medicine to reduce both the duration and everity of these illnesses.

One such preparation, Eps7630, prepared by Schwabe Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of over 20 clinical studies, involving 9000 people.

Pelargonium’s success as a cold and flu buster is unsurprising as over half of general practitioner’s visits involve patients complaining of upper respiratory tract infections. Adults can suffer from as many as four colds annually and young children get up to 12 times per year.

It is considered to be the single largest cause of work and school related absenteeism. Antibiotics are generally considered to be ineffective for most cases of colds and flu, yet treatment is clearly needed.

The dried rhizomes of P. sidoides contain a host of chemical compounds. Among these are polyphenols including gallic acids. Polyphenols are a group of plant chemicals which give foods a bitter taste, represent potent plant defence chemicals and often act as powerful antioxidants. Root extracts are rich in coumarins, including a unique phytochemical called ‘umckalin’. In addition, the remedy contains powerful flavonoids including quercetin, catechin and gallocatechin. These plant nutrients are responsible for vivid colour in fruit and vegetables and have antiinflammatory and immune boosting properties.

Three-Way Effect

Pelargonium has been shown to have a three-way effect.

Antibacterial

The Pelargonium Sidoides extract prevents bacteria from attaching to cells in mucous membranes.

Pelargonium sidoides extracts inhibit the adherence of bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes and Helicobacter pylori to epithelial cells in vitro.

Furthermore, ciliated cells isolated from the nasal epithelium enhanced their ciliary beat frequency in the presence of these extracts, which should allow better removal of excess mucous and bacteria.

Antiviral

Similarly, Pelargonium Sidoides prevents viruses from attaching to the mucous membrane cells and stimulates the body’s immune system in such a way that both bacteria and viruses are prevented from multiplying.

Invitro, the extracts show efficacy against cellular infections with influenza virus, HSV, EMCV, RSV, coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, and Coxsackie virus, and this appears to be mainly mediated indirectly by inhibition of virus attachment and spreading.

Expectorant

The extract acts as an expectorant, allowing the body to expel contaminated mucous, making conditions less suitable for the multiplication of the bacteria and viruses – can only find animal data.

The three-way effect attacks the acute infection at its root, the stabilisation of the immune system prevents a reinfection and the vicious circle of infection, a short recovery phase and new infection is broken.

Treatable Conditions

Read more about the research done
on Pelargonium Sidoides

Information Resources

This is a summary of the scientific conclusions reached by the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) on the medicinal uses of pelargonium root. The HMPC conclusions are taken into account by EU Member States when evaluating applications for the licensing of herbal medicines containing pelargonium root.

This summary is not intended to provide practical advice on how to use medicines containing pelargonium root. For practical information about using pelargonium root medicines, patients should read the package leaflet that comes with the medicine or contact their doctor or pharmacist.

Research Papers

Products Offered

Pelargonium sidoides Whole, Dried Pieces

Product Description

Dark brown to reddish pieces of shredded whole pelargonium root, cut and sifted according to customer specification.

Active ingredient

Not less than 100ppm umckalin

Sterilization

Steam sterilization (Optional)

Packaging Description

Inner package :
2 PVC plastic liner (Food grade)

Outer Packaging :
White polypropylene agricultural weaved bag

Pack size

15kg raw material

Pelargonium sidoides Milled Powder

Product Description

Dark brown to reddish pieces of shredded whole pelargonium root, cut and sifted according to customer specification.

Active ingredient

Not less than 100ppm umckalin

Sterilization

Steam sterilization (*Optional)

Packaging Description

Inner package :
2 PVC plastic liner (Food grade)

Outer Packaging :
White polypropylene agricultural weaved bag

Pack size

20kg raw material

Pelargonium sidoides Powder Extract

Product Description

Pelargonium sidoides powder extract,standardized for umckalin for greater accuracy in formulating your products.

Features

A dry powder extract standardized for umckalin content. This powder can be used as an ingredient in formulations for liquid drops, cough syrups or sprays and can also be pressed into tablets or encapsulated.

Active ingredient

NLT 160ppm, 800ppm and 1100ppm Umckalin

Packaging Description

Foil gusset bag, ziplock closure

Pack size

1kg and 5kg bags

Pelargonium sidoides Freeze-Dried Powder

Product Description

Pelargonium sidoides freeze-dried powder, ultrasonically extracted (Solvent-free extract).

Features

An ultrasonic extraction of pelargonium which has been freeze-dried. The benefits of this product are that it is solvent-free and the antioxidant properties of the plant are preserved by freeze-drying. This extract also contains the whole plant so it has a wider spectrum of all actives present in the pelargonium plant. This powder can be used as a starting material for extractions in order to produce greater yields of active ingredient due to the fact that it is standardized for NLT 200ppm umckalin and because the cells have been ruptured by ultrasonic extraction which means that the actives are more easily drawn out of the plant material during extraction. It can also be used as an ingredient in powder forumlations or pressed into a tablet or filled in a capsule.

Active ingredient

NLT 200ppm Umckalin

Packaging Description

Foil gusset bag, ziplock closure.

Pack size

1kg and 5kg bags

Ethanolic Liquid Extract 1:8-10

Product Description

Pelargonium sidoides ethanolic extract 1:10 (Alcohol 16-19%)

Features

An ethanolic extract made according to the pharmacopoeia monograph on Pelargonium sidoides. This tincture can be used as an ingredient in formulations for liquid drops, cough syrups or sprays or as a ready-to-use product.

Active ingredient

15ppm umckalin (or to customer specification)

Packaging Description

PVC bucket with tamper-proof closure.

Glycerine Extract

Product Description

Pelargonium sidoides vegetable glycerine tincture

Features

A non-alcoholic, sugar-free extract of Pelargonium sidoides. This tincture can be used as an ingredient in formulations for liquid drops, cough syrups or sprays or as a ready-to-use product.

Active ingredient

NLT 15ppm umckalin (or to customer specification)

Packaging Description

PVC bucket with tamper-proof closure.

Cough Syrup Formulation with Mint

Product Description

Alcohol-free and sugar-free. Pelargonium sidoides vegetable glycerine tincture formulated with mint oil.

Features

A non-alcoholic, sugar-free glycerine extract of Pelargonium sidoides that is ready to use as a cough syrup

Active ingredient

NLT 15ppm umckalin (or to customer specification)

Packaging Description

PVC bucket with tamper-proof closure.

Colds and Flu

  • Pelargonium sidoides milled powder or pieces

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