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Natural Cold Medicine Shortens Duration of Acute Bronchitis, New Study Finds

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan 18, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A new clinical study published in the medical journal EXPLORE -- The Journal of Science and Healing shows that a medicinal extract of Pelargonium sidoides roots, available in the U.S. as UMCKA COLDCARE(R), is an effective treatment of acute bronchitis, which is commonly associated with severe colds.(1)

In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 124 adult patients with acute bronchitis were treated with the P. sidoides extract or placebo for seven days. Within the first four days, over two-thirds (68.8%) of the P. sidoides treatment group reported improvement, compared to only one-third (33.3%) of the placebo group. After seven days, nearly 80% of the P. sidoides group was able to resume their daily activities, whereas less than half of the patients given placebo could do so. The study concluded that treatment with the natural extract resulted in complete recovery or major improvement in 85% of patients, compared to just 30% for placebo. P. sidoides was well tolerated with no major adverse events reported during the trial.(2)

"Now that we are in the more severe part of the cold season, cases of acute bronchitis are on the rise," warns David Riley, MD and clinical researcher. "This study confirms that Pelargonium sidoides can be an effective treatment option."

Acute bronchitis is one of the most common infections encountered in general practice, and is among the leading reasons for sick days off work. In most cases, acute bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause colds. The illness is typified by inflamed bronchial tubes, thick mucus in the chest, cough, and a whistling sound when breathing. Sometimes the cough from acute bronchitis can last for several weeks or a month. Although acute bronchitis is almost always caused by viruses (in up to 90-95% of cases), antibiotics are the commonly prescribed treatment. Yet in most instances, antibiotics do not provide significant symptomatic relief or shorten the duration of illness.

"We now know that bacterial infection is much less common in cases of acute bronchitis than we used to think," says Dr. Riley. "Because the cause is typically viral we need to look at alternatives to antibiotics, which makes this new research on Pelargonium sidoides so encouraging. The same could be said for other upper respiratory tract infections."

Additional studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the P. sidoides extract in treating other upper respiratory illnesses. In a published clinical trial, the extract was shown to shorten the duration of non-streptococcal tonsillitis in children by at least two days(3). It has also been shown to shorten the duration of common colds.(4)

Medicinal use of P. sidoides roots originates with the native cultures of South Africa, where they were administered in traditional preparations for upper respiratory illnesses. European settlers became aware of their medicinal applications as far back as the 17th century. But not until recent years have medical researchers investigated and clinically validated their efficacy. Today, P. sidoides extract is among the most widely prescribed cough, cold and upper respiratory medicines in Germany, and is quickly gaining acceptance throughout Western Europe.

UMCKA COLDCARE(R) is the introduction of the clinically tested P. sidoides extract into the U.S. market. Distributed as a natural homeopathic medicine by Nature's Way Products, Inc., Springville, Utah, it is available in liquid drops and syrups sold primarily in health and nutrition stores nationwide.


(1,2)Chuchalin A, Berman B, Lehmacher W. Treatment of acute
bronchitis in adults with a Pelargonium sidoides preparation
(EPS(R) 7630): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
trial. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

(3)Bereznoy V, Riley D, Wassmer G, Heger M. Efficacy of extract of
Pelargonium sidoides in children with acute non-group A
beta-hemolytic streptococcus tonsillopharyngitis: a randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Ther Health Med.
2003 Sep-Oct;9(5):68-79.

(4)Heger M. Efficacy and safety of an extract of Pelargonium
sidoides (EPs) in the treatment of the common cold: a
multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Poster
presentation at the First International Conference on Natural
Products and Molecular Therapy in Cape Town, South Africa, January

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