Pelargonium sidoides is a plant native to South Africa and is often used for medicinal purposes. It is a rosette-like plant with crowded leaves and dark, reddish purple flowers that appear almost black. Its growth peaks during the middle of the summer in Africa, which is during the month of December, and is harvested the following season. In the United States, the pelargonium sidoides that is commercially available to the general population is usually made of a standardized and high quality extract.
This particular plant has a long history and was revered by many. Traditionally, pelargonium sidoides was used in South Africa to treat diarrhea, liver complaints, wounds, cold, fatigue, fevers, generalized weaknesses, and infections of the respiratory tract. It was believed to cure just about anything and everything. Today, controlled clinical studies have now shown that its healing properties are limited and it can often times create more problems than it treats. It is, however, believed to be helpful in the treatment of bronchitis.
While the U.S. Food and Drug administration has not approved the safety and efficacy of this plant, it is often used as a natural supplement to treat bronchitis, pharyngitis, and gastritis. Individuals who wish to try pelargonium sidoides as a medicinal treatment should discuss this plan with their doctor before beginning treatment as there are side effects that could have negative consequences on the patient’s health.
There are quite a few side effects when using this drug, some of which can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening in certain instances. It is common for patients to experience nausea, heartburn, and a decreased appetite while using pelargonium sidoides. This makes it particularly dangerous for individuals suffering from diabetes and other metabolic disorders. These side effects will often disappear as the day goes on, but having a small snack before taking a dose of pelargonium sidoides can decrease the chances of these side effects.
Changes in bowel movements are also very common and often result in diarrhea. Patients may experience severe pain in the abdominal area, bloating, and cramping in addition to the diarrhea. If the diarrhea becomes severe or lasts for more than a few days, this could be sign of infection and medical treatment should be obtained immediately.
It has also been reported that many users experience allergic reactions as a result of taking pelargonium sidoides. These allergic reactions include breathing difficulties, skin rash, dizziness, loss of consciousness, heart rate abnormalities, headache, and hives. Any and all of these allergic reactions can be life threatening if left untreated. Patients should immediately go to the hospital if they believe they are experiencing a reaction from the medicine.
Pelargonium sidoides has had some serious successes when it comes to healing, but it also comes with serious side effects that should be taken into consideration beforehand. As with any new treatment, doctor supervision is advised. Because this plant can alter a person’s heart rate, it is not recommended for individuals with heart disorders or those with a family history of heart disease.