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J R Soc Med. 2002 November; 95(11): 575.
PMCID: PMC1279272

Stevens' cure for tuberculosis

Dr Newsom (September 2002 JRSM1) states that he found 266 items relating to umckaloabo on the Internet. Searches in medical databases yield more information on this herbal medicine, and go some way towards answering his question, ‘did the cure work?’. Since Stevens' days, several clinical trials of this remedy (which has been commercially available in Germany for about 50 years) have been published2,3,4,5. Most of these studies are methodologically weak and therefore inconclusive. Yet their results collectively imply that umckaloabo is effective and probably safe in treating upper respiratory tract infections, particularly in children. Perhaps Stevens had a point after all?


1. Newsom SWB. Stevens' cure: a secret remedy. J R Soc Med 2002;95: 463-7 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Heil C, Reitermann U. Atemwegs-und HNO-Infektionen. Therapeutische Erfahrungen mit dem Phytotherapeutikum Umckaloabo®. Therapiewoche Pädiatrie 1994;7: 523-5
3. König I. Naturnahe atemswegstherapie. Van der Umckaloabo-Droge zur Therapie von Atemwegsinfekten. Therapiewoche 1995;45: 1123-4
4. Haidvogl M, Schuster R, Heger M. Akute Bronchitis im Kindesalter-Multizenter-Studie zur Wirkamseit und Verglichkeit des Phytotherapeutikums Umckaloabo. Z Phytother 1996;17: 300-13
5. Dome L, Schuster R. Umckaloabo—eine phytotherapeutische Alternative bei akuter Bronchitis im Kindesalter? Arztezeitschrift Naturheilverfahren 1996;37: 216-22

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press