Kaloba approved as medicine in Oz
BY IAN WISHART
Four years ago, Investigate magazine broke the story in this country of a major new health supplement that we labelled a “cure for the common cold”. The supplement, a herbal remedy named Kaloba, was actually based on an African geranium with a less pronounceable name, and specifically an extract from the plant put through stringent pharmaceutical processes.
Now, in a rare move, Australia’s federal health authorities have upgraded Kaloba from natural remedy to an official position as an approved “medicine” under the Therapeutic Goods Act.
Most other pharmacy-only medicines merely treat symptoms of colds and flu, rather than attacking the viruses directly, which is what makes Kaloba unique. Additionally, many of those other symptom relievers are no longer recommended for use in children, and medical studies have shown many have little therapeutic benefit anyway. Which may be why families are increasingly turning to Kaloba to fight winter illnesses, because it has been found safe to use in infants and children, and it actually works – a genuine novelty.
That special geranium extract, EPs 7630, stimulates the body’s immune system to attack cold and flu infections with gusto, as evidenced by numerous scientific studies.
“The current data provide convincing support for the induction of anti-infectious responses by EPs® 7630,” reported Thale et al last year.[i]
“Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) is found to be effective in resolving symptoms associated with the common cold in adults,” reported another new study just published.[ii]
Scientists don’t yet know why Kaloba has strong anti-viral properties, but it does.
Another study last year in the journal Phytomedicine tested Kaloba against a range of infections, and found it effective against virtually all of them except bird flu:[iii]
“The Pelargonium sidoides extract EPs® 7630 is an approved drug for the treatment of acute bronchitis in Germany. The postulated mechanisms underlying beneficial effects of EPs® 7630 in bronchitis patients include immunomodulatory and cytoprotective effects, inhibition of interaction between bacteria and host cells, and increase of cilliary beat frequency on respiratory cells. Here, we investigated the influence of EPs® 7630 on replication of a panel of respiratory viruses.
“Determination of virus-induced cytopathogenic effects and virus titres revealed that EPs® 7630 at concentrations up to 100 μg/ml interfered with replication of seasonal influenza A virus strains (H1N1, H3N2), respiratory syncytial virus, human coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, and coxsackie virus but did not affect replication of highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1), adenovirus, or rhinovirus. Therefore, antiviral effects may contribute to the beneficial effects exerted by EPs® 7630 in acute bronchitis patients.”
A similar study, published only this year, backs this up:[iv]
“EPs® 7630 showed dose-dependent anti-influenza activity at non-toxic concentrations against pandemic H1N1, oseltamivir-sensitive and -resistant seasonal H1N1, seasonal H3N2 and the laboratory H1N1 strain A/Puerto Rico/8/34, while it had no antiviral activity against adenovirus or measles virus. The extract inhibited an early step of influenza infection and impaired viral hemagglutination as well as neuraminidase activity.”
Little wonder Australia has now approved Kaloba as an official medicine, even if New Zealand authorities are dragging their heels.
Up until now, antiviral medicines have been rare, and expensive. The fact that Kaloba has anti-viral properties as well as anti-bacterial has led to tests in unexpected areas, such as the herpes virus that causes both cold sores and genital herpes:
“The inhibitory activity of this extract against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was tested in vitro on RC-37 cells using a plaque reduction assay and exhibited high antiviral activity against both herpes viruses in viral suspension tests,” reported the journal Phytomedicine. [v]
“These results indicate that P. sidoides extract affected the virus before penetration into the host cell and reveals a different mode of action when compared to the classical drug acyclovir. Hence this extract is capable of exerting an antiviral effect on herpes simplex virus and might be suitable for topical therapeutic use as antiviral drug both in labial and genital herpes infection.”
Stunning stuff for a humble African geranium, rapidly turning into a home medicine cabinet in a bottle.
[i] “Anti-infective Activities of Pelargonium sidoides (EPS® 7630)”, Thale et al, Planta Med 2011; 77(7): 718-725
[ii] “African geranium (EPs 7630), part I”, S M Ross, Holist Nurs Pract. 2012 Mar;26(2):106-9.
[iii] “Investigation of the influence of EPs® 7630, a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides, on replication of a broad panel of respiratory viruses”, Michaelis et al, Phytomedicine, 2011 Mar 15;18(5):384-6. Epub 2010 Oct 30
[iv] “EPs® 7630 (Umckaloabo®), an extract from Pelargoniumsidoides roots, exerts anti-influenza virus activity in vitro and in vivo”, Thiesen & Muller, Antiviral Research Volume 94, Issue 2, May 2012, Pages 147–156
[v] “Efficacy of an aqueous Pelargonium sidoides extract against herpesvirus”, Schnitzler et al, Phytomedicine, 2008 Dec;15(12):1108-16. Epub 2008 Aug 8