Back to Africa Check

No, okra leaves and lemon won’t purify the blood

“How to purify your blood with okra leaves and lemon,” reads the headline of a Facebook post shared in Nigeria.

It explains how to prepare and use the mixture, adding that “treatment” can be renewed every three months “for blood purification”.

Our health depends on the quality of our blood, the more dirty the blood, the more the risk of General intoxication of our body with all the degenerative diseases that lead to premature aging and death,” the post claims.

Okra, also known as ladies’ fingers and by the botanical name Abelmoschus esculentus, is a herbaceous hairy annual plant of the mallow family. It is planted and eaten in many parts of Nigeria.

But can this mixture purify the blood?

okra incorrect 2

Not scientifically proven

Muheez Durosinmi, a professor of haematology at the faculty of basic medical sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state in western Nigeria, told Africa Check that the “treatment” had no scientific basis.

“The body has its mechanism through which it ensures that blood in the body is purified,” he said. 

He said drinking plenty of water – up to three litres a day – helped eliminate waste from the body.

Durosinmi recommended eating a balanced diet that included a regular intake of fruit, and getting enough rest.

“Also, a general check-up should be done at least once in a year, where people can check their blood pressure, sugar level, blood count and general well-being. They shouldn’t wait till they become either hypertensive, suffer a stroke or are diagnosed with diabetes.”

He advised people who felt unwell should go to a hospital for a proper check-up and appropriate treatment

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

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.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters