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No evidence herbal mixture kills staphylococcus

A Facebook post shared in Nigeria claims readers can “kill staphylococcus” using a mixture of kola nut, ginger, garlic, zobo leaves and aloe vera.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph, is “a germ found on people’s skin. Staph can cause severe infections if it gets into the blood and can lead to sepsis or death”.

The post includes a photo collage of the five ingredients mentioned in the claim. Zobo, short for zoborodo, is the Hausa name for the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa and the tea made from its leaves. 

But could this herbal mixture cure staph?

No scientific evidence for claim

We asked Garba Sharubutu, professor of infectious disease at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, if people should follow the advice in the Facebook post.

“These are claims we must be cautious of. I would not recommend it,” he said.

He explained that though the individual ingredients might improve one’s health because of their chemical composition, the mixture should not be recommended unless it had been subjected to scientific investigation.

Ndifreke Udonwa, professor of family medicine at the University of Calabar in southern Nigeria, also told Africa Check there was no scientific evidence to back the claim.

 “As a professor of family medicine, I am not aware of any research about this. The best thing for people to do who have a staphylococcus infection is to go to the hospital to see a doctor. After a test has been conducted, the doctors will advise what type of treatment the patient needs.” 

Staph infections can be life-threatening. Seek medical attention and do not rely on untested herbal remedies. – Catherine Olorunfemi


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