KALOBA – FAMILY ILLNESS REMEDY IN A BOTTLE
By Ian Wishart
Moving into winter and the season of coughs and snuffles, parents everywhere are looking for solutions that give their kids relief and lessen the amount of time off school (and consequently time off work) required to recover.
The natural herbal extract Kaloba has become one of New Zealand’s topselling natural cold and respiratory tract treatments, and with good reason – study after study is showing Kaloba has the ability to treat winter ailments.
The substance, scientifically known as EPs 7630, is extracted by a German pharmaceutical company from a member of the geranium species which, in concentrated and purified form has proved highly effective. The reason for that is two fold. Not only does Kaloba help fight bacterial infections, but it also has a much harder-to-find property – it helps kill viruses too. As any parent knows, antibiotics don’t work against viruses and medical advice is usually just “tough it out”. So a medicine that can actually be taken by children and which helps fight viral infections is going further than over-the-counter cough suppressants and nasal decongestants – it’s actually helping fight the underlying infection, not just masking symptoms.
Last year we reported on a new study showing Kaloba’s anti-viral properties helped kill the herpes virus (responsible for cold sores as well as the obvious). Now, another research team has found a use for Kaloba – helping prevent asthma attacks in children.
Asthma derives from chronic inflammation of the airways and can manifest after exercise, dust pollution or viral and bacterial infections. The “majority” of the latter are “related to viral infection”, notes a pediatric research team from the University of Ericyes School of Medicine in Turkey, in a study published in the journal Phytomedicine.
The researchers decided to experiment with Kaloba on asthmatic kids for a number of reasons.
“It may be effective in relieving symptoms in acute bronchitis in adults and children, and sinusitis in adults (Timmer et al, 2008),” note the pediatric team.
“EPs 7630 significantly reduced bronchitis symptom scores in patients with acute bronchitis by day 7 (Agbabiaka et al, 2008). No serious adverse events were reported.”
Because bronchial inflammation mirrors, in some respects, asthma inflammation, the researchers wondered if it would be useful for asthma patients. The bug-killing properties of Kaloba gave them extra hope:
“EPs 7630 has a positive effect on phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and intracellular killing of cells…It significantly reduces the severity of symptoms and shortens the duration of the common cold compared with placebo.”
Could it therefore, they wondered, “effect the asthma attack frequency after upper respiratory tract viral infection”?
The results of their double-blind randomised trial on 61 children with asthma were astounding. Forty-eight percent, or nearly half, of the children using a placebo experienced an asthma attack within five days. Only 20% of the children using Kaloba suffered such an attack.
The power of Kaloba to rein in the common cold was also demonstrated. Ninety percent of the children on placebo still experienced coughing fits, compared with only 56% of those who’d taken Kaloba for five days, and 74% of those on placebo were still enduring runny noses and other nasal symptoms, compared with only 43% of those after five days on Kaloba.
Posting their conclusions in the study summary, the research team noted:
“Respiratory infections are frequently primarily due to viruses. Viruses can provoke an asthma attack. We think, if we can shorten the duration of viral infection, we may decrease developing airway inflammation and we may prevent the asthma attack.
“We showed that EPs 7630 had significant improving effects on upper respiratory tract viral infections. The results of this study demonstrated that treatment with EPs 7630 markedly improved symptoms of upper respiratory tract viral infections, which were more pronounced for the symptoms nasal congestion, nasal drainage and cough [and]…significantly reduced asthma attack frequency.”
Kaloba, they wrote has “antiviral, antibacterial and immunomodulatory activities” – the latter being the way Kaloba stimulates the immune system into action against non-specific threats – a bit like sounding a fire alarm, it alerts the body’s frontline immunowarriors to begin working earlier and faster.
Although not teased out in this study, one implication is that Kaloba’s antiviral properties may be useful against other viral illnesses as well.