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SALT LAKE CITY -- A new study has found that UmckaÂ® ColdCare, a proprietary medicine made from Pelargonium sidoides roots and introduced to the United States by Natures Way Products, Inc., significantly shortens duration and reduces severity of the common cold.
After five days of treatment, 64 percent of patients receiving UmckaÂ® ColdCare were free of cold symptoms or reported major improvement, compared to only 4 percent with placebo. During the same period, more than eight out of 10 patients returned to 75 percent to 100 percent of their normal activity level -- this being more than double as many as with placebo.
The rate of recovery in this study was clinically significant, observes David Riley, MD, the lead U.S. investigator of the study. Unlike most other cough and cold remedies that simply provide temporary relief, UmckaÂ® ColdCare shortens the duration of cold symptoms.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study was presented this month at the First International Conference on Natural Products and Molecular Therapy in Cape Town, South Africa, where P. sidoides is a native plant. This is also the region of its medicinal origin as a traditional Zulu remedy.
Previous clinical trials, including a tonsillitis study published in the U.S. journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies (2003), have confirmed the effectiveness of Pelargonium extract in treating sinus, throat and bronchial illnesses. It is among the most widely prescribed cough, cold and upper respiratory therapies in Germany, and is quickly gaining acceptance throughout Western Europe.
For years German doctors have been prescribing Pelargonium sidoides as a first-line treatment for sinus, throat and bronchial illnesses rather than immediately resorting to antibiotics, says study director Dr. Marianne Heger.
The new study shows that UmckaÂ® ColdCare offers a significant benefit for patients suffering from the common cold.
UmckaÂ® ColdCare is the first Pelargonium-based medicine introduced in the U.S. It is distributed as a natural homeopathic in liquid drops, as well as cherry and menthol flavored syrups, by Natures Way Products, Inc., located in Springville, Utah. The products are primarily available in health and nutrition retail outlets nationwide.
About Pelargonium Sidoides
Medicinal use of the 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 modern scientists investigated and clinically validated their efficacy.
SOURCE: Natures Way Products, Inc.