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Appendicitis could kill you. Visit a doctor, and don’t waste time with unproven remedies

A mixture of palm wine, bitter kola and lime is a “remedy to cure the appendix” that will “melt appendix until it disappears”, claims a message posted on Facebook in Nigeria in October 2020.

The appendix is a thin pouch that projects from the colon, in the lower right side of the belly. Its store of gut bacteria may have an important role in our immune system, but people who have had their appendix removed generally remain healthy.

Appendicitis is when the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus. The condition is usually caused by bacterial infection. Appendicitis can be life-threatening if left untreated. The inflamed appendix could rupture and spread the infection through the abdomen.

But does a palm wine, bitter kola and lime mix treat appendicitis and even “melt” the appendix? We checked.

‘Rupture could be deadly’

“There is no scientific basis for the claim,” Ali Ishaq Shugaba, a professor of human anatomy in the medical sciences faculty at the University of Jos in central Nigeria, told Africa Check.

The remedy has no properties that can fight inflammation or bacterial infection, so it “will not affect an inflamed appendix”, Shugaba said.

“People suffering from appendicitis should visit a doctor,” he added. “Trial and error with herbal mixtures is not safe. If the inflamed appendix eventually ruptures, that could be deadly.” – Motunrayo Joel


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