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No, infusion of eggplant leaves can’t ‘wash’ kidneys – see a doctor instead

IN SHORT: A Facebook post circulating in Nigeria claims that the leaves of the garden egg plant, or aubergine, can be used to “wash” the kidneys. Experts say this isn’t true.

In a video posted on Facebook in Nigeria, a person is seen speaking in a mixture of Yoruba and English, explaining how “garden egg leaves” can be used to “wash” the kidneys.

The person instructs viewers to wash the leaves before boiling them to make an infusion. She says this mixture must be drunk every morning before breakfast.

The garden egg is a type of eggplant or aubergine. It is a member of the nightshade family of plants and is eaten in many parts of the world. 

The video in the post has been viewed over 100 times.  We found a similar claim here, with over 68,000 views, though this video instructs viewers to blend the eggplant leaves and squeeze out the juice.

The same claim has been made here, here, here, here and here

But can garden egg leaves be used to “clean” the kidneys? We looked into it.

KidneyCleanse_False

Kidney cleansing a myth

Kidney cleansing refers to drinking or eating certain food, juices and fruits in order to “detoxify” the kidneys.

But according to a US-based doctors practice specialising in kidney diseases and associated conditions, Commonwealth Nephrology Associates, the kidneys don’t necessarily need special cleansing.

“Having a nutritious, low-salt diet and healthy lifestyle, along with drinking enough water every day, remain the best ways to keep your kidneys healthy,” it says.

The health information portal Healthline says that in the absence of disease, the kidneys will function well with a good diet and adequate water intake.

No scientific basis for claim, say experts

Africa Check asked Fatiu Arogundade, nephrologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ife, southwestern Nigeria, about the eggplant leaves claim. 

“It cannot be used to clean the kidney as they claimed,” Arogundade said. 

Although the professor said garden egg leaves contained a lot of vitamins, which might have antioxidant properties, he said they could not influence the function of the kidneys in any way.

He advised that people should eat well and drink enough water instead. 

“If you have a background condition like hypertension and diabetes, you must take your medication regularly, ”Arogundade said. 

Babaniji Omosule, a nephrologist at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in the UK, agreed. “I am not aware of any scientific basis for such a claim,” he said. 

Africa Check has debunked several home remedies claiming to clean or treat the kidneys. Experts say there is no concrete medical evidence to back them up.

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