Umcka– it’s a clinically-proven, infection-fighting herbal remedy that is now at our fingertips to help shorten the duration of sick days.  It is used for acute and chronic infections of the respiratory tract, which includes the common cold, bronchitis, tonsillitis, & sinusitis.

What is it?!  It’s a South African geranium root (Pelargonium sidoides), or “Umckaloabo,” which has been used for hundreds of years by traditional South African tribal healers to remedy colds and respiratory infections, but was first introduced to the Western world in the 1890, and has recently become increasingly popular.  I discovered this remedy from my Vitamin Cottage e-Newsletter, and am so intrigued!  I hate taking medicine if I can avoid it, but when the kids or I are sick, it really takes a hit on our social lives!  We miss Church, Bible Study, Mops, Story Time at the Library, play dates—and then especially in the Winter, I feel like I have to limit our social outings to keep our health in tact (especially if there’s an upcoming event we have to attend).

And now, with all of the talk of kids not taking cold medicines, and the effects of overusing antibiotics and then becoming ineffective (not to mention how terrible they are for your body!), a natural remedy sounds fantastic!  Anything I can give my kids without chemicals, pesticides, or antibiotics—I’m all for.  After all, God made our bodies to HEAL THEMSELVES!!!  Why would we limit our bodies from enabling them to do this?!  Anyway, I digress…

So, you may be wondering what happened when researchers performed clinical trials with humans?  Well here are the results:

“Great infection-fighting results. Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of Umcka. For example, a study using 476 subjects compared Umcka to a placebo in supporting adults with acute bronchitis. Bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, not bacteria; therefore, antibiotics are ineffective against it. It is characterized by thickened mucus in the chest, coughing, inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and a whistling sound during breathing. Using Umcka significantly reduced the severity of symptoms, such as coughing, headaches, and chest pain. The amount of work missed due to the illness was also shortened by two days. Side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, were slightly more common with Umcka than with the placebo; however, overall the few reactions (less than one percent) experienced were very mild.

Another study using 143 children, aged 6 to 10, with tonsillitis, found similar results. After four days, the symptoms experienced by those taking Umcka decreased almost four times as much as those on the placebo. Those taking Umcka had far better symptom-relief from swelling of the throat, tonsils, and lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, fever, painful limbs, and headaches. The investigators found freedom from symptoms or marked improvements on day four in almost 90 percent of those subjects using Umcka, while only 17 percent of those taking the placebo had similar results. In fact, a quarter of the participants taking Umcka experienced an improvement after one to two days. The researchers concluded that Umcka is effective, well tolerated, and safe for the initial treatment of non-streptococcal tonsillitis.”

Next time I see the first signs of my kids coming on with a cold, I think I’m going to race to the store for some Umcka!

Here’s to HEALTH, Wellness, and Le Dolce Vita!!!