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Monday, 21 September 2009

Pelargonium For Colds, Sore Throats etc

With Autumn here and Winter just around the corner (for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway), I thought it might be useful, and maybe even interesting, to occasionally share a few remedies and ideas that help boost the immune system and therefore fend off those colds, coughs and yukky phlegm ridden noses and throats...

I'm sure almost all who will read this will have heard of Pelargoniums, or maybe not... They are a flower from South Africa which is part of the Geranium family.

Many of us dutifully stuff them in our hanging baskets and window boxes every summer... for me its a sweet reminder of a couple summers in Greece.

Pelargoniums have been used by the Zulus, Basutos, Mfengi, and Xhosa people in South Africa for a very long time. They use the plant for many upper respiratory tract infections, as well as the milder problem of a cough and other things, including gastrointestinal problems.

The South African word for Pelargonium is Umckaloabo, which is the Zulu word for a heavy cough...

In the 1890s Charles Stevens, from England, went to South Africa looking for a cure for tuberculosis. He found it through a tribal healer with the Basuto tribe, and returned to England cured. He also returned with the cure, which was very popular for a while, until synthetic drug cures were devised, and then it was suddenly forgotten.

More recently research has become interested in the plant again, and research is being conducted into its use as an alternative to antibiotics when treating upper respiratory infections, like colds, coughs, sinusitis, sore throats and even bronchitis.

What is actually used in the alternative to antibiotic remedies is Pelargonium sidoides. The extract is taken from the roots.

The best way to take Pelargonium is to use the extract or tablets as soon as you feel a cold or a sore throat starting. Use about 30 drops 3 times a day of the extract, but do not use it for more than 2 weeks. Do not use while you are pregnant or breastfeeding, not if you are on Warfarin. Apart from that it is safe with other remedies and drugs.

A home remedy for allergies in some people, is to make a tea from Pelargonium leaves...

Pelargonium Tea (for allergies)

5 or 6 fresh Pelargonium leaves

1. Put the leaves into a teacup of just boiled water and steep for 20 minutes.

2. Drink straight after the 20 minutes, and sweeten with honey if you prefer. Clover honey goes very nice in this.

3. Make and drink this 3 times a day while symptoms persist.

Sometimes it takes a while to work, and it doesn't work for all allergies for all people.

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