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No, editan leaf and white clay mixture won’t help women ‘conceive easily’

A message posted on Facebook in Nigeria claims drinking juice made from editan leaves and a local white clay will help women conceive.

“To conceive easily with leaf,” it begins. “Get a popular Akwaibom leaf called Editan, squeeze out the juice in a glass ,then get white clay (nzu in Igbo) grate it into powdered and mix it together with the editan juice...stir and drink first thing early in the morning before eating.try this for two weeks and thank me later. Wonderful testimonies already coming up from our free group of women trying to conceive.”

Editan (Lasianthera africana) is a shrub found in West Africa.

Infertility is a medical condition that affects both men and women. It could be a result of issues with either partner, or a combination of factors. The most common symptom is the inability of a woman to get pregnant despite having frequent unprotected sex.

Is this mixture a solution to infertility?




‘Ridiculous, funny and childish’

We asked Cosmos Enyindah, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Nigeria’s University of Port Harcourt faculty of clinical sciences, about the advice in the Facebook post.

It was inaccurate to claim that “a single mixture such as this can treat infertility in a woman”, he said. 

“There are several things we consider when talking about infertility in a woman. We might be talking of the potency of the fallopian tube, or the ability of the woman to produce viable eggs.”

Enyindah said some cases of infertility in women could be as a result of blocked tubes, inability to produce viable eggs or a monthly cycle in which no ovulation occurs – an anovulatory cycle

While some studies show editan leaf is a source of alkaloid and phenolic compounds, Enyindah said it was “ wrong to say that this kind of mixture can single-handedly address all problems associated with infertility”. 

He said infertility was not confined to women alone. Men can also be infertile. One cause of male infertility is azoospermia, where a man’s semen has no measurable sperm. He advised that people battling with infertility should visit a specialist who would conduct a thorough examination to identify the cause.

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