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Immune Support Powerhouse



Few South Africans are aware of the potent immune boosting properties of a humble shrub indigenous to their country. Common names for this healing herb include umckaloabo and South African geranium. Luckily, awareness of Pelargonium sidoides and its health benefits is steadily growing, largely due to the fact that is has been in the spotlight over the past few years. Traditionally used to treat stomach complaints and respiratory illnesses, P. sidoides is now known to support your overall immune health.


Studies have highlighted various characteristics that enable this potent plant to boost your immune health. The dried roots of P. sidoides contain a host of chemical compounds, including polyphenols, which represent potent plant defence and act as powerful antioxidants. P. sidoides root coumarins (including its unique phytochemical, umckalin) are believed to be responsible for its specialised immunomodulatory activity. Additionally, the root contains powerful flavonoids, including quercetin, catechin and gallocatechin, with powerful anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.


The common cold is so named because it is normal for adults to catch an average of two to three colds a year (and children up to a dozen per year). Since a wide range of rhinoviruses can lead to colds, it is impossible to develop a cure for them all. Antibiotics are often prescribed, but these are ineffective for viral infections. In most cases, a healthy individual can fight off a cold virus naturally and the stronger your immune system is, the quicker you can beat it. P. sidoides treatment for the common cold is more effective than over-the-counter cold medications and is a more natural alternative. It stimulates an anti-adhesive, cytoprotective effect that is essential in reducing the risk of rhinoviruses and other infections. With regular supplementation of this beneficial herb, you can reduce the risk of catching a cold in the first place.


Pelargonium sidoides has been found to increase your viral defence system by 200%. Pelargonium sidoides’ ability to launch a defence against infections is achieved through the release of neutrophilic granulocytes. These white blood cells are the first line of defence against invading pathogens and trigger the inflammatory response, seeking and destroying the invader. The root extract is clinically proven to be an immune modulator – it does not make your immune system permanently active, but rather prepares your body to respond to viral detection more effectively. If already in a cytokine storm, P.sidoides will reduce IL-6 and IL-15, ensuring that your immune system does not overwhelm your body.


Numerous studies have highlighted the effectiveness of Pelargonium sidoides’ immunodulatory activity. One such study, entitled “The Pelargonium sidoides Extract EPs 7630 Drives the Innate Immune Defense by Activating Selected MAP Kinase Pathways in Human Monocyte” (Witte, K. et al., 2015), recommends the use of the root extract as an alternative to antibiotics. Unlike antibiotics, P. sidoides extract has the advantage of not promoting microbial resistances. The study’s data showed that the extract activates phagocytes, induces MAP kinase-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokines in these cells, and modulates their production capacity of mediators known to lead to an increase of acute phase protein production in the liver, neutrophil generation in the bone marrow, and the generation of adaptive Th17 and Th22 cells. These observations suggested that the extract acts as an immune modulator and, before infection, promotes innate immune defence and the body’s ability to eliminate microbes quickly and efficiently.


In times when your immune system may be worn down, why not stay ahead of illness with a natural boost from Pelargonium sidoides? As a regular part of your health routine, this potent plant powerhouse can offer you the perfect natural ally to your immunity and health.


1MD Nutrition. 2021. Pelargonium Sidoides and Its Ability to Boost Your Immune System [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 October 2021].
Witte, K., Koch, E., Volk, H-D., Wolk, K., & Sabat, R. (2015). The Pelargonium sidoides Extract EPs 7630 Drives the Innate Immune Defense by Activating Selected MAP Kinase Pathways in Human Monocytes. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138075.
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