Pelargonium is a plant of the Geraniaceae family, native to Africa and nowadays spread all over the world in its various variants. We have for sure to mention the geranium plants that decorate balconies and gardens with their colored petals! But geraniums are also a natural remedy from which essential oils with anti-inflammatory, anti-acne and mosquito repellant properties are extracted. Today we are talking about a particular type of geranium, called South African geranium, scientific name pelargonium sidoides. This type of geranium has leaves that are velvety to the touch and dark red, almost black flowers. But it is, above all, the health properties of South African geranium that make it so interesting. Let's try to understand better.
South African geranium, properties
The South African geranium is a remedy known for centuries by local populations. Science has also been interested in this plant showing that its roots, being rich in flavonoids and phenols, such as tannins, diterpenes and proanthocyanidins, have antibacterial, antiviral and immunomodulatory properties (Kayser et al, Phytother Res , 2001). In fact, these roots have been shown to interfere with the replication of the influenza A virus, human coronavirus and parainfluenza virus (Whitehead et al, Pilot Feasibility Stud, 2019). The effectiveness of this type of geranium is mainly localized at the level of the airways in case, for example, of bronchitis, sinusitis, throat infections and colds (Riley et al, Integr Ned, 2019). In fact, the administration for two weeks of a liquid preparation based on Pelargonium sidoides roots was able, in people with bronchitis, to reduce cough, chest pain and breathing difficulties (Matthys et al, Phytomedicine, 2007). Not only that, a treatment followed for no more than 20 days with the administration of a preparation based on pelargonium sidoides roots has brought benefit in case of sinusitis (Bachert et al, Rhinology, 2009).
Geranium from South Africa, uses and applications
Given the characteristics of pelargonium sidoides, you can use this remedy in case of colds, coughs, sore throats and sinusitis. In fact, the South African geranium works by relieving and improving symptoms and speeds up healing. You can find, in herbalist’s, chemist’s and online shops, syrups, preparations, extracts in capsules but also real medicines based on perlagornium sidoides roots.
Geranium of South Africa, warnings
Remedies and medicines based on pelargonium sidoides should not be given to children under 12 years, to pregnant and breastfeeding women as no studies have been carried out on the safety of South African geranium in these population groups. Also pay attention and always ask your doctor for advice if you are taking any medications, especially blood thinners, as interactions may occur, or if you have liver or kidney problems.