Umcka: What is Umcka Cold Care?
More than just a beautiful flower, this species of geranium (pelargonium sidoides) has been used medicinally by various cultures throughout South Africa. Also known as umckaloabo, a Zulu word that refers to the herb’s beneficial effect on coughs, fevers and chest pain, umcka cold care has become one of the more popular seasonal remedies in alternative medicine communities throughout the world. Although it was traditionally used as a tea in Africa, today it is more commonly found as a homeopathic remedy, made by a company called Nature’s Way.
The Africans used umcka mostly for coughs, upper respiratory conditions and digestive ailments. It was actually used for diarrhea and dysentery just as often as for upper respiratory issues, though these days such uses are not as common. European settlers learned about umcka from the native people, and began using it for tuberculosis, cold and flu and sinus infections. In fact, its use in treating tuberculosis is what made it so popular in Europe in the early 20th century. With the rise of pharmaceutical medicine, umcka was largely forgotten for about 40 or 50 years. But it has definitely experienced a renaissance in the last few decades. Pelargonium extracts have been available without prescription in Germany since the early 1980’s.
Is Umcka Homeopathic?: A Traditional Herb With Modern Research Behind It
Most of the studies on umcka have shown that it is effective in reducing the symptoms of cold, flu, sinus and respiratory infections, coughs and several other inflammatory immune conditions. It has also been shown to reduce the duration of many of these illnesses. Umcka has known antibacterial properties as well, including against some of the more common bacterial strains. There are a few proposed mechanisms of action for umcka:
1.) Anti-bacterial and Antiviral: The p.sidoides extract prevents bacteria and 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.
2.) Expectorant: the extract acts as an expectorant, allowing the body to expel contaminated mucus, which makes conditions less suitable for the multiplication of the bacteria and viruses. Umcka affects the ciliary beat frequency (CBF) of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. By increasing the frequency of the beats it allows the cilia to expel the mucus more effectively.
3.) Immune stimulant:There are also studies that show umcka’s ability to boost the immune system, increasing phagocytosis and the levels of various immunoglobulins and cytokines.
We have both the homeopathic form and the herbal extract of umcka here at Peach Vitamins. The homeopathic version, made by Nature’s Way, is available in multiple forms, including syrup, drops, tea packets and quick-dissolving powder. And the herbal pelargonium syrup is available through our own Peach Vitamins line. If you have any questions about umcka or any other natural products, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 266-9115 or stop by our store here in Atlanta.