Bitter kola seeds soaked in a bottle of Teem Bitter Lemon, a soft drink sold in Nigeria, will cure “all kinds of toilet infection”. That’s the claim in a message circulating on social media.
An alert for the message popped up on Africa Check’s Nigeria Whatsapp group, which we created with Nigerian media partners to track false information about health.
It was also shared on Facebook in Nigeria.
The post shows a bottle of Teem. It reads: “one teem, two bitter kola, peel and drop inside. Soak for two days and drink on the third day. For all kinds of toilet infection.”
What is a 'toilet infection'?
Medically, there is no such thing as a toilet infection, Dr Adegboyega Fawole, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in Nigeria’s Kwara state, told Africa Check.
“I also hear a lot of my patients use the term ‘toilet disease’. Doctors prefer to use the term vaginal infection,” he said.
“Symptoms of vaginal infections include abnormal vaginal discharge, odour and itching.
“The three most common types of vaginal infection are yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Some infections are caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Many, including yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, result from a change in the vaginal environment.”
Bitter kola, a flowering plant found in the tropical rain forest region of Central and West Africa, produces edible seeds. Its scientific name is Garcinia kola.
No clinical trial on claim
Africa Check asked Dr Rotimi William Braimoh, a senior lecturer at Nigeria’s University of Lagos College of Medicine, about the claim.
“No study has shown it is effective or not. There has to be a clinical trial to prove the authenticity of the claim,” he told us.
“The trial has to be done on several human beings and measured, and also checked for the effects of the treatment. It also must be produced by several others with the same measurement of dosage.
“Until that is done, we cannot say if the claim is effective or not.” – Jennifer Ojugbeli
Babu hujjar da ta tabbatar cewa jika namijin goro a cikin lemon Teem na maganin cututtukan da ake dauka a makewayi
Namijin goro idan aka jika a cikin lemon Teem, da aka saba sayarwa a Najeriya, "zai magance kowacce irin cutar da ake dauka a makewayi." Wata da'awa kenan da ke ta yawo a kafafen sada zumunta na yanar gizo.
Sako mai dauke da wannan bayanin ya shigo dandalin Africa Check na Whatsapp, wanda muka ķirkira tare da hadin gwiwar yan jarida don samo labaran karya da suka danganci lafiya.
Haka zalika an rarraba rubutun a Facebook.
Rubutun na dauke da hoton kwalbar lemon Teem. Rubutun na cewa: " teem guda daya, namijin goro guda biyu. A cire bawon jikin goron, a jefa goron a cikin kwalbar lemon, a jika su na tsahon kwanaki biyu, a rana ta uku sai a sha. Yana maganin duka ire iren cututtukan da ake dauka a makewayi."
Meye ciwon da ake dauka a makewayi?
A likitance babu wata cuta da ake kira da cutar dauka a makewayi, Dr Adegboyiga Fawole, babban likitan mata na asibitin koyarwa na jami'ar Ilorin da ke jihar Kwara, ya shaidawa Africa Check.
Likitan ya cigaba da cewa "ina da masaniyar marasa lafiya da dama na yawan cewa cutar da ake dauka a makewayi", mu likitoci cututtukan da suka shafi al'aurar mata muka sa ni."
Likitan ya bayyana mana cewa "alamun cututtukan da suka shafi alaurar mata sun hada da fitar ruwa daga gaban mace, warin gaba da kuma kaikayi."
Haka nan ya ce "ire iren cututtukan da ke kama gaban mata guda uku ne, wasu daga ciki ana kamuwa da su ta hanyar jima'i, wasu kuma suna kama mata ne sanadiyar wani chanji da gaban su ke samu."
Namijin goro, dan itace ne da akafi samun sa a yammacin Africa da kasashen tsakiyar Africa, masana kimiyya na kiran sa da Gasiniya.
Ba bu wani gwajin da ya danganci lafiya da aka taba yi akan wannan da'awar
Africa Check ta tuntubi Dr Rotimi William Braimoh, babban malami a kwalejin koyan aikin likita ta jami'ar lagos da ke Najeriya. Malamin ya ce "dole ne a yi gwaji a jikin mutane a kuma duba karfin maganin a jikinsu, haka nan dole ne wasu da dama su yi kwatankwacin gwajin kafin a tabbatar da sahihancin amfanin maganin a jiki."
"Idan har ba bincike akayi ba, ba zamu iya cewa da'awar gaskiya ba ce." – Jennifer Ojugbeli
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.