I would love to write an article about a new amazing alternative that I have found, or a new therapy that is going to change the world… but I have been inundated with sick patients.
This ‘cold and flu season’ has hit very hard, and I’m seeing a lot more of my patients being taken down by ‘regular’ seasonal cold and flu symptoms.
These symptoms range from run-of-the-mill upper respiratory tract infections (the common cold) to raging sinus infections and bronchitis.
They are running rampant and are quite contagious. It’s rare to find someone who’s NOT infected with (or at least affected by) these strains of viruses and infections.
Even though it is not super-exciting to write about the common cold and flu, they actually wreak more havoc on the workplace and home than all the severe diseases put together!
But most patients are left to suffer and ‘tough it out’.They turn to over-the-counter remedies (and chicken soup) to band-aid their symptoms.
Therefore, finding good solid cold and flu therapies are worth their weight in gold.
And I’ve discovered one homeopathic therapy that I would consider the ‘gold standard’ in nipping colds and influenza in the bud… if you can get to them quickly enough.
This remedy has been around the block
There are a LOT of over-the-counter remedies that help with the bothersome symptoms of the common cold, but they do nothing to treat the root cause. Therefore, I always recommend that my patients use a herbal remedy, called UMCKA. Cold Care, which does just that.
UMCKA is from the herb Pelargonium sidoides, which is also called African geranium. It’s been used by some African tribes for hundreds of years to treat coughs, upper respiratory tract infections, and other infections.
In 1897, it was brought to Europe by an Englishman named C. H. Stevens who’d gone to Africa out of desperation to cure his tuberculosis. He went because of the weather, but the herb given to him by an African healer turned out to be even more therapeutic.
When he brought it back to England, he called it Umckaloabo, originating from the Zulu language and meaning ‘heavy cough’.
Mr. Stevens capitalised on his good fortune and made it in to his own remedy called ‘Stevens’ Consumption Cure.’ It gained enough popularity that the herbended up being studied, purified,and even diluted by a Germancompany, Schwabe Pharmaceuticals.
This company named their special proprietary dilution and extraction of this herb something much more boring, ‘EPs 7630’. Now, it’s sold in more than 50 other countries under many different names: Umckaloabo, Umcka, Umckalor, Kaloba, Kaloban, and Renikan.
This proprietary product is therefore not a ‘new kid on the block’. It’s had enough success to warrant multiple studies to show its effectiveness as well as its safety.
A success rate that rivals any drug
In fact, the EPs 7630 extract has been the subject of 20 clinical studies totalling 9,000 patients (nearly 4,000 of whom were children). These studies show that this herbal dilution effectively treats the upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, throat infections, sinusitis, and the basic common cold.1,2
One study from 2007 showed that after 10 days, 80 per cent of the treatment group’s symptoms cleared up, compared to the 30 per cent in the placebo group.3
That’s a pretty good success rate, I would say!
The bad news is that if you read about some of these studies and the review of these studies, you will see that conventional medicine is constantly trying to poke holes in these studies and cast doubt.
If any drug had the safety record of UMCKA… and an 80 per cent success rate in treating a medical condition (compared to 30 per cent in the placebo)… it would make front page news.
There would be hundreds of drug reps poking their way into doctor’s offices to educate them about this new study!
This herb works so well because it’s chock-full of different chemical compounds that address different things: it has polyphenols (mainly catechin and gallocatechin), proteins, minerals, and, in lower concentrations, 7-hydroxycoumarin derivatives (but not coumadin and thus does not thin your blood).
And so, it attacks and addresses the situation in three major ways:
• increasing the body’s defense against viruses
• stopping the growth of bacteria, and
• loosening mucus
First, it mobilises white blood cells (more specifically natural killer cells) in the body, deploying your ‘army’ so they’re ready to fight.
Then, it provides a Star Wars-like ‘force field’ on the mucous membranes so that bacteria cannot ‘stick’ and multiply – and, thus, superinfect you when your immune system has taken a hammering.
Last but not least, the constituents of this herb also make the ‘little hairs’ (cilia) in your respiratory system vibrate and thus cleanse more effectively.
The continuing controversy of herbal remedies
UMCKA Cold Care is derived from a herb, but technically it’s not a supplement, but a homeopathic remedy of a 1X dilution. The ‘1X’ or ‘one’ dilution means that the herb has been diluted with one part of the herbal tincture in nine parts of alcohol or water.
I explain this for two reasons. The ‘good’ reason is that because it’s a diluted version of the herb, it’s safer than a full dose.
Along those lines, this remedy has a very low side effect profile (a very small percentage of people get slight stomach upset) which has been shown in the studies done on the substance.
It’s even been used safely in children starting at one year of age!4
The ‘bad’ reason is that the FDA did not agree that this supplement is a homeopathic remedy and thus issued a warning letter in February of 2012 about the way the company marketed UMCKA on its website and labelled its bottles.5
The FDA scolded the company, saying that they could not claim that the product was as good as it actually was. The agency also said that the company couldn’t use medical studies to back up their claim because the remedy was considered an ‘unapproved new drug’… and therefore in violation of FDA rules… and thus was misleading to consumers… and ‘misbranded’.
Around the same time, the major pharmacies and supermarkets took it off their shelves even though it IS a safe and effective remedy for one of the most common illnesses that affect millions of people.
With the overuse of antibiotics and the current push to limit antibiotics, you would THINK that conventional medicine would want to look more at amazingly safe and effective preparations like UMCKA.
Instead, the FDA sends out warning letters and high street suppliers remove it from their shelves!?
Now, the only places where you can possibly find UMCKA are health food stores or online.
Keep these infections from ruining your life
One of the caveats to treating the common cold is to get to it early. There is a ‘window’ of time that gives you a shot at getting to these viruses before they bury and encode themselves into your own DNA and ‘have their way with you’.
Therefore, if you get ‘sick’ and want to treat cold and flu symptoms as soon as possible, you have to rely on easily getting to a local health food store… So, to avoid the frustration of not being able to get your hands on UMCKA in time to put the brakes on your symptoms start looking for it now and stock up in advance.
I usually educate my patients who have weaker immune systems or get ‘sick all the time’ to do what I do: always have it in the house. In fact, every household should have some supply of UMCKA in their first-aid kit and kitchen cabinets!
That way, you can take it at the beginning of the sniffles or the throat tickle and sore throat – before the virus gets too
There are actually 10 different versions of UMCKA. Most of the variety comes from different delivery options (for example, tablets vs. liquids), but some of them have different herbs and homeopathic remedies in them.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.