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Product review: Zucol – cold remedy or black magic?

November 27, 2009

Occasionally, I would like to take the time to give some blog time to products that I have found to be useful or which live beyond-up-to their advertised potential, particularly when they are relatively unknown. Today, I would like to give a shout-out to Zucol™ Coldcare.


What the hell are you?!?!

I have no clue how or why this stuff works. But it does.

In preparation for a long week on set of the feature film The Legend of Grassman, I decided to stock up on any and all medicines I could afford for cast, crew, and self. I came across Zucol™ at Meijer and I will be honest: the only reason I bought it was that it was on clearance for $2.00 a box. I did not even look at the package to see what this stuff was. I saw “Coldcare” and “$2.00” and was sold.

Well, it was not long before I needed to get some meds in me. I was weakened by lack of sleep and felt something coming on fast. I pulled out this weird new medicinal mystery and took some.

And, I kid you not, within 20 minutes, I was feeling like a new man!

I continued taking this Zucol™ stuff as directed through the shoot and I swear it was the only thing that got me through healthy.  I was so amazed that I decided to look into this product in more detail. That’s when I noticed two things: the word “homeopathic” and the ingredient “Pelargonium sidoides.”

What the hell..?

Now, when I see homeopathic, I immediately think of alchemy, snake oil cure-all salesmen, voodoo, and shamans. Like the worst infomercial ever. Some dingy, blonde and a guy with a British or Aussie accent standing around a kitchen island in front of an audience and interviewing a scary-eyed, bald man in grease paint with  a grass skirt, human bone necklace, a spear, and a top hat.

great image from deviant art. click it!

Witch doctor will cure Daphne cold!

“Let me ask you something, Suzie. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt an illness coming on, but you weren’t sick yet?”

“Boy, have I, Winston! Haven’t we all?” The crowd enthusiastically and completely artificially agrees.

“Well, those days are long gone now with this revolutionary new product:  Zucol™!” Crowd applauds. “And I have here with us the inventor of Zucol™, Doctor Ngrite Dnorunde Boukman the third to talk about his world travels that let him to discover this miracle sickness!”

“Wow! Your name is quite a mouthful!”

The voodoo, snake-oil, witch doctor just stares at Suzie. Winston continues.

“So, tell us, Dr. Boukman, how did you come up with this amazing new cure-all?”

The “doctor” stares for a long moment, then blurts out, “Umckaloaba! Mola Ram Suda Ram! Kali Ma! Kali Ma Shakti de!”

“That’s bloody rivetting! And what is this primary, all natural ingredient you discovered that made it all possible?”

“Pelargonium sidoides.  Yub yub.” Suzie and the audience gasp and applaud.

And that’s the other thing: I don’t know what the devil’s medicine cabinet a “sidoide” is, much less one of the pelargonium variety. It sounds made up. And it’s the only active ingredient. All of the other ingredients are passive, slacking, filler ingredients.  Screw you, malic acid! You’re useless! And there’s doesn’t appear to be any listing of what I would expect: zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, eye of newt, wolfsbane, tadpole tails, bats balls, high fructose corn syrup, and red number 5.

So, I am not certain if by taking this concoction whether or not I have forfeit my soul to a dark overlord, or if by healing me, someone else in another part of the world died or got sick.  What I do know is this:

At least three times this year, I should have, by all rights, been sick as a zombie with swine flu. But, I took Zucol™ the minute I began to feel shitty and it KICKED SICKNESSES RIGHT IN THE BALLS!

So, there you have it. Try it out. Seriously.

Zucol™: Kicks Sickness in the Balls!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. joe permalink
    January 30, 2010 2:55 PM

    I got some of this stuff for free and kept it on hand. One day I felt a raspiness starting in my throat and so I let one Zucol tablet melt on my tongue. Took another around bedtime. Woke up in the middle of the night with a full-on sore throat and some sniffles, took a third Zucol and then woke up feeling quite a bit better. Had some chicken soup for breakfast (with a fresh tomato chopped into it) and took a final Zucol mid-day. That was the shortest cold/sore throat that I ever had….not even 24 hours.

    I’ll try it again next time and let you know….

  2. tiffany p. permalink
    October 9, 2010 6:21 PM

    i used to buy zucol at my local Walgreens, and i found it much the same way you accident. none of the other OTC’s seemed to help chest infections, which this one claimed to do.
    and DID it. it became my GOTO medicine for any sore throat/bronchial illness. i’d start taking it at the first tickle, and it has saved me so many times!! now it’s next to impossible to get. every drugstore from here to timbuktu has stopped carrying it, and i’m so annoyed. no one can even order it in for me. what’s the problem? it worked too good?? i’m going to try, as that seems to be the only place that will now even admit it exists..

    • Vicky permalink
      October 13, 2010 11:30 PM

      Check around at different Walgreens, on the clearance shelves–I saw 1 box this week (at the 24-hour store in Wentzville, MO).

    • November 14, 2010 1:07 AM

      I have found it at Kroger, in the nature/organic food section. Also, at the Natural Foods store up the street from me. However, it is no longer called Zucol. It is now known as Umcka.

  3. Deborah permalink
    December 15, 2010 3:02 PM

    I use Umcka, it has Pelargonium sidoides as well; since I was a child I have gotten plenty of sinus infections and bronchitus(probably at least 30 to date), always it seemed that I ended up at my doctors office and needed antibiotics to get me out of my misery; z-pak (the antibiotic) became a favorite of mine.
    Last year I beat my 1st sinus infection(and I believe I probably reduced the degree of misery)and I seemed to have done it using Umcka with the Pelargonium sidoides. I believe this drug can help many avoid going to there doctor for these types of infections; all the more, if they start using it when they are just starting to get sick; but I think its safe to say that it depends at least on the type of bacteria.

    If my memory is correct, Pelargonium sidoides kills a number of bacteria and viruses; I don’t think that it can kill as many types of bacteria as Z-pak; so for some infections z-pak or other antibiotics are needed.

    What is great is that you may not have to wait till you get sick to a certain degree before being able to go to the doctor and tell them your sputum is yellow, so that they will give you antibiotics; you can just start waging war on the the bacteria asap.

    I highly recommend people who have a track record of getting these type of infections to order Pelargonium sidoides ahead of time (unless they can find it at a local store)so that they have it on hand when they start getting sick.

    I don’t look at this like a cough medicine, but as a rare find, a legal over the counter antibiotic. Also, for people wanting legal over the counter antibiotics, one might also look into olive leaf as well, though I can’t personally say that has helped me; but based on what I read it might….

    • December 23, 2010 2:12 PM

      All I know is this stuff is going to help me in my obsessive search for immortality.

  4. Josie permalink
    January 7, 2011 9:53 AM

    I tried it too and it was great…but now I can’t find it anywhere.

  5. Lisa permalink
    January 10, 2011 12:15 PM

    I have used this in the past and it has always worked and worked well too! Unfortunately, I can’t find it any more. I can’t even find a website for the product. I’m guessing that it is no longer available. Can’t believe it since it worked so well. And I have tried other homeopathic products — none which work nearly as well as Zucol did.

  6. Ben permalink
    April 2, 2011 7:41 PM

    Pelargonium sidoides is the scientific name for a South African flowering plant. the traditional medicines are made from the root. Most modern “homeopathic” remedies are a 1x alcohol dilution of the plant. There’s a LOT of scientific research into this and everything shows that it indeed does work. If you’re interested, you could probably grow it and make the dilution yourself. Though, i don’t know how great it would taste, lol.

    • April 7, 2011 8:28 AM

      I would eat the plant raw if it would make me immortal. But that would be silly. No plant could possibly have the magical, mythical properties of healing all things, of staving off death itself. I would have to be crazy to believe such nonsense.

      Googling “Perlargonium sidoides seeds” now…

  7. Karen permalink
    June 3, 2011 1:18 PM

    For those that can’t find Zucol it is now Umcka. Last year I couldn’t find it either and called the telephone # on a box of Zucol that I still had. They informed me that it is now Umcka! Umcka isn’t easy to find in the chewable tabs but the liquid seem more available. You can find the chewable tabs online.

  8. theroamingbotanist permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:53 PM

    You would want to extract the chemicals that are anti-bacterial and astringent from the roots. I might suggest making a tea. The essential oils and tannin in the roots of this plant are what makes you feel better when you’re sick. They help decrease inflammation and boost your immune system.

  9. April 18, 2013 2:18 AM

    Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing
    like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  10. June 16, 2014 12:32 PM

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  11. December 14, 2016 1:32 PM

    I am sad as I type this. I’m googling (again) to see if I can buy Zucol… even on the black market… from Canada… anywhere!!! I’m feeling a cold coming on, but – alas – no Zucol to be had for many years now. Yes, I know they’ve repackaged it as Umcka, but it’s NOT THE SAME! It does not work like Zucol. At all. :-(

    Like others here, I stumbled on Zucol at Walgreens on sale… it was amazing stuff! Worked like magic! Worked so well that it made me google the active ingredient to find out more! Then poof… it was gone. Sounds like typical FDA tactics – if it works, pull it off the shelves. It’ll put Big Pharma out of business, and God knows we can’t have that.

  12. Russ Boner permalink
    October 20, 2017 5:01 PM

    I rarely get colds or flu (probably because I avoid getting flu shots) but my wife recently had a bad and lingering cold or flu and I felt like I was coming down with it. So I rummaged around in the medicine cabinet and came up with a box of Zucol. It was really a magic pill that kept me disease free. So I decided to get some more. Good luck with that. The pharmacist at CVS has never heard of it so I turned to the internet—discovering this site along with others.
    On one of the sites Zucol was receiving numerous five star ratings, but the average was dragged down by a lady who gave it one star because the boxes she bought had only six months left on the sell-by date. When I looked, the tablets I was taking expired On Dec. 20, 2010 but they still worked!
    The box I have says it was distributed by Abkit, Inc. of New York City. I called the number on the box and got a very persistent Direct TV salesman. I had already learned that it was manufactured by Schwade in Germany, but the only websites I could find were for its subsidiaries in the UK and India—presumably because of the English language. And I couldn’t find mention of Zucol.
    So I am guessing that Zucol, like many other super products, has been completely phased out. I gather it has a stand-in called Umcka which I will try.

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