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No, the juice from cocoyam leaves won’t treat haemorrhoids

A message posted on Facebook in Nigeria claims that “the healing power” of a plant “juice” can treat haemorrhoids. 

Under the heading Treat pile/hemorrhoid” it reads: “Use the healing power in this cocoyam juice I will like to share with you. The juice works for Hemorrhoids (in English), Ako Jedi (I guess in Yoruba).”

The cocoyam, or taro, is a food crop grown mostly for its roots, though all parts of the plant are edible

The post describes how to cut the cocoyam leaf and apply it to the haemorrhoid and says “the juice will make the pile return back. This is tested and trusted”.

Will cocoyam juice treat haemorrhoids? We checked.


Causes determine treatment

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the lower rectum and around the anus, which can be internal or external.

Symptoms of the condition include pain or discomfort in the area, swelling, bleeding, and haemorrhoids pushing out of the anus.

We asked Dr Joanah Ikobah, a consultant paediatric gastroenterologist and hepatologist, and senior lecturer at the University of Calabar in southern Nigeria, about this treatment using cocoyam.

“Cocoyam juice is not a treatment for haemorrhoids. First you have to know what is causing the haemorrhoids, things like ruling out if the patient is always constipated. [The condition] can be treated medically with suppositories and, in severe cases, surgically,” she said.  

Ikobah said generally, the cause and severity of the haemorrhoids would determine how they were treated.

According to the UK’s National Health Service, haemorrhoids can be treated or prevented by drinking lots of fluids, eating a fibre-rich diet, having a warm bath to ease pain or itching, regular exercise, and reducing alcohol or caffeine intake.

Africa Check has previously debunked other false claims of mixtures meant to treat haemorrhoids.

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