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No, infusion of neem tree and lime won’t kill intestinal worms

A message posted on Facebook in Nigeria claims drinking water infused with “neem tree” and “lime oranges” will kill intestinal worms.

It explains how to prepare the mixture and then reads: “Drink a glass morning and night for three days and every worm will be crushed and come out through excretion. It's good for all ages. Good for the family.”

It is posted with two illustrations of different types of intestinal worms.

Neem is a medicinal plant that belongs to the mahogany family, found in dry areas in South Asia, parts of Africa, the Caribbean and South and Central America.

There are many different types of intestinal worms, most of which are parasitic. One major cause of intestinal worms is poor hygiene and sanitation.

Symptoms of worm infestation include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting and fatigue.

Can this mixture kill intestinal worms? We checked.


Use widely available proven medicine, say doctors

Abraham Malu, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Jos in central Nigeria, told Africa Check that there is no evidence the mixture mentioned in the Facebook message kills any of the different types of intestinal worms.

“It is not something I'll advise anyone to use as there is no evidence that this cures intestinal worms,” he said.

Emmanuel Ekanem, a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology and professor of paediatrics at southern Nigeria’s University of Calabar, told us worms should be treated using anthelmintic drugs, depending on the type of worm.

He sent us a list of anti-parasitic drugs that can be used to treat different types of worms.

The UK’s National Health Service echoes this advice and says: "Most worm infections are not serious and can be easily treated with medicine."

It also advises that to avoid being infected again or infecting others, good hygiene should be taken seriously.

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