The common cold is an illness which many of us are affected with each year, and over the past 50 years there have been no real medical advances to prevent it. The common cold is one of the leading causes for work absenteeism and can have a significant impact on our well-being. But, there could be a simple solution in your back garden, the common geranium flower.
What causes a common cold?
The cold is caused by over 200 different viruses which impact the upper respiratory tract and cause coughs, fevers, headaches, sore throats and runny noses. A number of sufferers will seek antibiotic treatment, but often the medication has no effect on the illness and people can continue to suffer for up to a month. But, a number of medical studies have found that a specific extract of the South African geranium plant can cut the duration of the illness in half.
The extract has long been used by South African Zulu tribes, as a way to prevent chest problems. Early studies indicated that extracts of geranium had significant antiviral properties. It was discovered that the Pelargonium sidoides extract could significantly reduce both the duration and the symptoms of a common cold. According to a medical study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a specific ingredient known as Umckaloabo was proven effective in a study involving 207 participants.
The study involved dividing the participants in half, with 50 percent receiving Umckaloabo and 50 percent given a placebo. Those who received Umckaloabo each day showed significant reductions in their symptoms such as pain and fever, with the illness duration almost cut in half.
How does it work?
The extract contains a number of unique substances including reniformin, which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial qualities. It works by increasing the overall activity of white blood cells which then work to target and destroy the cold infection. The extract then blocks the adhesin molecules, so that the bacteria in the respiratory tract is unable to attach its viral particles to start multiplying.
The extract is considered safe for use for less than three weeks, although it is not known whether it is safe for children and pregnant women. If you would like to find out more about natural medicines and therapies check our directory for a practitioner near you.