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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
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A Cure for the Common Cold?

A Cure for the Common Cold?

You’ve heard it all your life … “There’s no cure for the common cold.” Sure, drug store shelves are loaded with cold and flu remedies, but the most they can do — and some of them do it better than others — is temporarily relieve symptoms. Only time and rest can truly knock out a cold.

At least, that’s what we once believed. Recent clinical studies may have pinpointed a substance with the power to lessen not only the severity of common cold symptoms, but also reduce the duration of the cold itself.

This miracle cure wasn’t developed in a lab somewhere, but grows naturally in South Africa, where its healing properties have been known for centuries. A type of geranium, the Umckaloabo plant (its scientific name is Pelargonium sidoides) has been demonstrated to be effective against sinus infections, bronchitis, and, yes, the common cold.

In its land of origin, the plant is so tied in the minds of people to its powers against respiratory illnesses that its name comes from the word “umkhulkane,” which means “respiratory infection.”

Modern science, which is generally skeptical of herbal remedies, has been studying Umckalaobo — more commonly known as Umcka — since 2007, and initial indications are positive.

In clinical trials, participants who took Umcka were more than twice as likely to be completely over their colds by the end of a 10-day period as those who took a placebo (79% of Umcka users versus 31% of those who took a placebo). The herb is also believed to lessen the severity of a cold.

Luckily, you don’t have to fly to South Africa to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of Umcka. It has been available in North America for a few years. The primary producer of Umcka-based cold remedies in the United States is Nature’s Way, a company that produces a variety of herbal supplements mainly sold at health food stores. Umcka is available in an array of preparations, from drops to syrups to powders.

So feed your cold — chicken soup if you like — drink plenty of fluids, and get your rest, but if you want to feel better faster, skip the cold and flu tablets and give Umcka a try.

14 comments

1 Cecila Nenni { 06.16.13 at 10:52 am }

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The most commonly implicated virus is a rhinovirus (30—80%), a type of picornavirus with 99 known serotypes.””,-

2 ASILOMARBEACH { 10.27.12 at 9:59 am }

Umcka works, i use it every year!

3 walker { 10.04.12 at 3:37 pm }

hi jaime mcleod wanted to say since the last time we spoke, and surprisingly minesota snowed this morning zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. have a good winter. bye bye

4 Jaime McLeod { 10.04.12 at 12:37 pm }

Patty – It would be unlikely for Umcka to be growing wild in the U.S. It’s not a native plant here. There are varieties of geranium that grow in the U.S. and may look similar.

5 Barb { 10.04.12 at 12:49 am }

Umcka is in the geranium family! @ Patty, you may be referring to ground ivy or commonly called creeping charlie. I have a butt load in my yard too. Hard to get rid of. Ground ivy is in the mint family and I understand have medicinal properties too. But yeah, not the same plant.

6 Ali { 10.03.12 at 9:26 pm }

I picked up some Umcka at the health food store and am giving it to my 20 yr old…see if it helps his sore throat and phlegm problems. I got the drops (30 drops 3 times a day for 48 hrs) and got the lemon powder to make a hot drink with…we’ll see what happens.

7 Patty { 10.03.12 at 8:48 pm }

Well, you could knock me down with a feather. That stuff is growing all over my yard. I have begged my husband to kill it with roundup all summer. It is just taking over the yard. How could I make use of it?
The bees sure like it, A LOT!

8 Sweet Tea { 10.03.12 at 5:08 pm }

Common rabbit’s tobacco is very good for viral infections including colds and flu. Also good for stomach viruses. One teaspoon dried rabbit’s tobacco in one cup boiling water. Let steep for about five minutes.

9 FoodMagick { 10.03.12 at 12:41 pm }

Prevention is far better than cure, and our diet is the best protection against any bacterial or viral infection. Since I started practicing Regenerative Eating 3 years ago, I haven’t had a cold, the flu, sinus infection, yeast infection, or any other kind of illness I used to have regularly during my entire adult life. Having all my wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots disappear is another wonderful “side effect” of eating correctly for the human body, along with having chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel problems vanish as well. A truly healthy diet actually makes and keeps us healthy, inside and out.

10 Lu { 10.03.12 at 11:32 am }

I’m all for natural remedies, however, wouldn’t a cold have run it’s course in 10 days?

11 Jaime McLeod { 10.03.12 at 11:31 am }

Patrick – yes, what Pat said – there were two different groups.

12 Pat { 10.03.12 at 11:10 am }

Patrick, it’s 79% of Umcka users versus 31% of placebo users. 2 different groups. Apples and oranges.

13 supermom { 10.03.12 at 9:23 am }

Umcka works! I went to the health food section last year after having laryngitis (sp) for three weeks and asked them to help me. They showed me this stuff called “Umcka”. I thought “what the heck? I can’t taste anything anyway” and tried it. Let me first say I could taste it. Oh boy could I taste it. (Still makes me shiverL but THAT DAY I was feeling better. And I managed to “kill it” within two days. The directions said to continue to take it for 24 hours after symptoms stop- and it totally worked! I am soooo happy to read that it was a real remedy and not just my imagination! The next time I got sick I tried the cheaper brand of this tincture- not.worth.the.savings. It burned! Oh how it burned! Yeesh! I threw that “money saver” away. The real brand was Umcka. There are drops and lozenges and I will be stocking up ASAP! Thank you for this article!

14 Patrick { 10.03.12 at 9:15 am }

Your study statistics show 110% results. (79% of Umcka users versus 31% of those who took a placebo)

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