The Kitchen Sink

Would you put Umcka in your mouth?

Would you put Umcka in your mouth?

I was in the hippie health section of the grocery store yesterday and came across this head scratcher, Umcka. I believe “umcka” is the sound one makes when trying to clear phlegm from their throat, making this irritating name an onomatopoeia, or what is also called imitative harmony (or in this case, an irritative harmony). An onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it is describing, such as noises like “oink,” “meow,” “gurgle,” “belch,” “barf,” and in this case, “umcka.”

Apparently Umcka is made with the root extract of a South Africian medicinal plant named pelargonium sidoides, which is the basis for a number of cold and flu products including one named Umckaloabo. Talk about hard to swallow!

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