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No, hibiscus flowers mixed with cassava leaf juice won’t cure sickle cell disease

A mixture of cassava leaf juice and hibiscus flowers will cure sickle cell disease, claims a message posted on Facebook in Nigeria.

It describes the preparation process and dosage, ending with “do this treatment for 2months”.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells lack plasticity and can block small blood vessels and impair blood flow. It can result in poor blood oxygen levels, chronic and acute pain, severe bacterial infections, and necrosis or tissue death.

Can drinking hibiscus flowers mixed into cassava leaf juice cure the disease?


Visit specialist doctor for proper management

“Sickle cell disease predominates in Africa, with over 300,000 babies with severe haemoglobin disorders being born every year,” says the World Health Organization.

Africa Check asked Omolade Awodu, a professor of haematology at the University of Benin in southwestern Nigeria, if the remedy in the Facebook post would cure sickle cell disease.

“I have not seen any research that supports this,” she said. “It is not in the treatment guidelines for sickle cell disease. Instead, people with sickle cell disease should see a specialist doctor. If they are younger than 16 they should ask to see a paediatrician, and if they are older they should see a haematologist.”

Awodu said people with sickle cell should keep to regular appointments, and only take advice from the specialist managing their condition.

She added that the outlook for sufferers was not as bad as it used to be. There are now plenty of medically proven measures that could help people with sickle cell disease.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives guidelines for people living with sickle cell disease, and their families. These include tips on preventing infection, and when to see a doctor.

In a report on sickle cell disease in Nigeria, Africa Check found that the country had the highest burden of the disease in the world.

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