Pelargonium sidoides, a plant in the geranium family, has a long history of traditional use in southern Africa for treatment of respiratory problems. A standardized extract of the herb has undergone considerable scientific study that, in general, supports this traditional use. Based on a number of well-designed trials, Pelargonium sidoides
has become popular in Europe as a treatment for
acute bronchitis, the
(sore throat), and tonsillitis.
Currently, the best evidence regards treatment of acute bronchitis. Double-blind studies enrolling a total of over 800 people have found pelargonium extract more effective than placebo.
For example, in February 2007, a study was published that tested pelargonium in 217 adults with acute bronchitis. Participants were given either placebo or pelargonium extract at a dose of 30 drops daily. Researchers measured improvement through the use of a formal “bronchitis symptom score.” After seven days of treatment, people given the herbal treatment showed significantly better scores than those given placebo. Specifically, improvements were seen in cough, mucous, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
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