What Are the Medicinal Uses of Pelargonium Sidoides?

Lumara Lee
Lumara Lee
Pelargonium sidoides leaves.
Pelargonium sidoides leaves.

Pelargonium sidoides is a flowering plant native to South Africa where it has been used traditionally for many years to treat various afflictions. Commonly known as the South African geranium, pelargonium sidoides can be an effective treatment for a wide variety of bacterial and viral infections and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It also acts as an analgesic and can ease the symptoms of tonsillitis and sore throats. Pelargonium sidoides can be effective for both acute and chronic conditions.

Pelargonium sidoides may help improve a bad cough.
Pelargonium sidoides may help improve a bad cough.

Roots of pelargonium sidoides are harvested when they are three years old for maximum potency. Extracts of the roots contain antibiotic properties that can fight off strong infections including those caused by strep, staph, and bacillus bacteria. These natural antibiotic constituents are effective in the treatment of ears and sinus infections.

The roots also contain constituents that attack the mycobacteria responsible for some infectious diseases that are often fatal, including leprosy and tuberculosis. South African geranium can also be used as a preventive since it can preclude any mycobacteria that may be present from flourishing. Its root contains an agent that prevents bacteria from attaching to cell walls.

Pelargonium sidoides is a flowering plant native to South Africa.
Pelargonium sidoides is a flowering plant native to South Africa.

Studies have shown that pelargonium sidoides in effective in reducing the symptoms of bronchitis and other disorders of the respiratory tract. South African geranium can reduce mucus, improve a bad cough and any associated chest pain, and decrease congestion to help open the breathing passages. Studies also have shown that pelargonium sidoides is so effective in the treatment of acute bronchitis that when it is administered to a patient in the early stages, the use of antibiotics may be avoided.

Another reason why pelargonium sidoides is seen as such an effective treatment for acute conditions is because it strengthens the immune system. It is a good source of the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals required for healthy functioning. Antioxidants in the root destroy the free radicals that lower the immune system and make a person susceptible to illness.

Not enough is known about the effects of pelargonium sidoides on the babies of pregnant or nursing women, so women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should use another form of treatment. It can be so effective in strengthening the immune system that people who have an autoimmune disorder such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Crohn’s disease might want to avoid its use to prevent possible flare-ups. South African geranium is considered safe; an extract is sold in German pharmacies to treat bronchitis.

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Discussion Comments


I had bronchitis for years and I stumbled upon this in a health store. I only bought it because it said "clinically proven" on the cover. The effects of this are nothing less than extraordinary. I started taking it at the beginning of the onset of a new "flare" of bronchitis at the beginning of autumn and by the second day I felt so much better. It kept improving over day three, four and five (where I am now). For the first time in years I do not need to take the dreaded "antibiotics autumn course"! For me, this is a breakthrough. I cannot find any side effects either!

Be warned though, even though the symptoms will improve considerably and - I believe - this is actually curing me, you will still feel sick in that there will be the usual general fatigue associated with bronchitis flares. I guess if you need to feel 100 percent, one would want to complement this with a course of multivitamins and maybe some ginger for a general tonic.


I'm interested in taking this stuff for it's immune strengthening capabilities. I think it would be a really good idea, especially during the winter time. I get colds a lot, and I would much rather prevent them than take stuff to deal with the symptoms.

Also, I would imagine that even if you did get a cold while you were taking this stuff, it would probably lessen the symptoms. So that's a bonus.


@Azuza - Pelargonium sidoides does sound amazing, but I must admit I feel a bit skeptical. I would like to know a little more about the scientific studies that were done on this plant!

The reason I say this is that I've never heard of any medicines that are effective against bacteria, and viruses. I'm no medical expert, but think about. If you have a bacterial infection, you need an antibiotic. If you have a virus, you need to either wait it out or take an anti-viral.

I can't believe that if modern medicine hasn't found a drug that is effective against both a virus and a bacteria that some plant is effective against both!


Wow! This stuff sounds pretty amazing. I've never heard of pelargonium sidoides before, but I'm going to keep an eye out for it at my local health food store. Or maybe I'll try to order it online.

I get bronchitis a lot during the winter, and I hate having to take all the medication I usually do. Decongestant, pain relievers, mucus thinners etc. I have to take a ton of stuff just to feel moderately functional!

Usually I prefer herbal remedies, so it pains me to take that many conventional medications. However, I've never found a natural remedy that's very effective for bronchitis. I'm hoping pelargonium sidoides might be the answer.

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    • Pelargonium sidoides leaves.
      Pelargonium sidoides leaves.
    • Pelargonium sidoides may help improve a bad cough.
      By: ramonespelt
      Pelargonium sidoides may help improve a bad cough.
    • Pelargonium sidoides is a flowering plant native to South Africa.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      Pelargonium sidoides is a flowering plant native to South Africa.