“Get raw groundnuts with shells, rinse and fresh sun dry for 2days,” it reads. “Then you soak it with warm drinkable water overnight, remove the groundnut and drink the water first thing in the morning for 3days.” It adds: “Do not drink for more than 3days if you do, it will be too tight.”
Other Facebook pages and websites have posted similar claims that that drinking and applying water in which groundnuts have been soaked helps tighten the vagina.
But is this there any science behind this?
Nutritious but not a treatment
Groundnuts are in fact legumes, and a useful crop. Pharmaceutical companies extract oil from the nuts to make skincare and baby care products. The shells contain some functional compounds used for commercial and industrial purposes.
Their nutritional benefits are well documented, but Africa Check found no scientific evidence that water used for soaking groundnuts was a tissue tightening agent.
Nimi Briggs, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Port Harcourt, told us that there’s no science to back up the remedy. He warned that people should not follow the Facebook post’s advice.
“There is no evidence to prove this tightens the vagina. The walls of the vagina can become loose for various reasons, and before any treatment is prescribed, the cause has to be ascertained,” Briggs said.
“During childbirth, the genitals enlarge, and after childbirth, it comes back to normal. Pelvic exercises can help enhance this process. However, other diseases can make the walls of the vagina loose, and those are treated surgically.”
He said people should raise their health concerns with specialists who know the best way to help, instead of taking unproven remedies that have not been tested as safe for use or as effective treatments for specific conditions. – Catherine Olorunfemi
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