Have you ever had an upper respiratory tract infection ? And have you ever had a cold, runny nose, sore throat, blocked nose or cough ? If you're anything like me, I bet the chances are you answered no to the first question and yes to the second. But it was a trick question between it's the same thing ! Ha ha, gotcha !
Right, enough silliness and on to the reviewing ! Kaloba is described as "a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold, based on traditional use only". It comes in two forms, either tablets or the oral drops we were sent to review.
The label explains that it contains the root extract of pelargonium sidoides. Now, I know from wandering around garden centres that pelargoniums are like geraniums.Sure enough, the Kaloba website confirms, "Pelargonium is a member of the geranium family and has long stalked leaves". The Herb Facts website goes on to explain : "Pelargonium (Pelargonium sidoides) is used in South Africa as a natural antibiotic. Known as ‘Umckaloabo’, it has been used for thousands of years by the Zulu, Basuto, Xhosa and Mfenfi people and is especially valued for its action on upper respiratory tract infections, coughs and ear, nose and throat infections and for its ability to encourage rapid recovery from colds and flu. In 1897 Charles Stevens an Englishman was given pelargonium to treat tuberculosis. Fully recovered, Stevens took his remedy back to Europe and the herb gained in popularity." If you'd rather be blinded by science, they also state that "If you have symptoms of a cold or the flu, or have developed a chest infection, then pelargonium extracts are certainly worth trying. They help to stop bacteria from attaching to cell membranes, preventing the bacterial from multiplying. Similarly viruses are prevented from attaching to the mucus membranes, which also prevents multiplying. To treat colds and viral infections, start treatment as soon as you start to experience any symptoms. I have used pelargonium tablets as a preventive with patients who come in contact with other flu sufferers." Oooh definitiely a good thing to have at hand over the winter then, especially as the kids at school are always keen to share their germs around !
The oral drops come in a little brown glass bottle with a screw cap lid. I was expecting it to have a little pipette dropper in the lid but it hasn't which is a shame, as it would have made it much easier to dose the product. Adults and children over 12 should take 30 drops three times daily and children aged 6-12 should take 20 drops three times daily. They are not suitable for children under 6, nor for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The drops can either be taken directly from a spoon or mixed with half a glass of water.
I sniffed them and thought they smelt vaguely alcoholic - a quick look at the label reveals that the extraction solvent is 11% ethanol and the drops contain 12% (v/v) alcohol so don't leave them lying around if you have children. I had a quick test by putting a couple of drops on my tongue and they taste a bit strange but not wholly unpleasant. It's impossible to define the taste but it's quite sweet, tart and slightly acidic. I wouldn't say I'm a great fan of the flavour but the taste soon disappears, although I did have the sensation of a slightly numb tongue for a while !
But that's a very small price to pay if it really does help me stay cold and flu-free this winter or help relieve the symptoms if I do succomb to the bugs. Mother Nature does it again !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £7.99 for 20ml, £14.99 for 50ml
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