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No evidence hunteria umbellata soaked in Lucozade treats typhoid and malaria

“For typhoid and malaria, get hunteria umbellata (abeere),” reads a message posted on Facebook in Nigeria in November 2020. It shows a photo of brown seeds in a bowl.

“Peel the skin then soak it in Lucozade boost. Usage: Be drinking little of it everyday, starting from the next day of preparation. NB: It works like magic And also 10-20 seeds is okay.”

Hunteria umbellata, a shrub found in West Africa, is said to have medicinal properties. But will a preparation made with the plant’s seeds and Lucozade cure typhoid and malaria?

Not scientifically proven

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says typhoid and paratyphoid are life-threatening illnesses caused by strains of the salmonella bacteria.

Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasites. They are spread to people through the bites of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.

Michael Asuzu, professor of public health and community medicine at the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in southern Nigeria, told Africa Check there was no evidence the preparation would cure the two diseases.

“I am a western-trained medical practitioner,” he said. “I am not aware of any research that shows how it works.”

He added that anybody claiming the treatment worked should come forward with evidence of its efficacy.

“This treatment falls under the category of traditional medicine and it is untried. For it to be declared effective and safe to use, it has to be subjected to research, and it must show scientific evidence – otherwise anybody taking it is on his own.”  

He advised that people should get a proper diagnosis and seek appropriate medical help. – Catherine Olorunfemi


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