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No, scent leaves can’t ‘clean’ kidneys – for kidney disease, see doctor instead

A Facebook post shared in Nigeria claims you can use scent leaves to “clean” your kidneys “without pain”.

“The years go by and our kidneys always filter the blood, eliminating salt, poison and all that is harmful in our system,” it says. “Over time, salt accumulates and requires cleaning treatment. How to get rid of this?”

The post says to boil up scent leaves, which it also calls “Ewe Efinrin (Nchuanwu)” leaves,  and drink the filtered tea. 

“Drink one cup a day and you will see that all the salt and poison accumulated in your kidneys begin to appear when you urinate. This is recognized as the best cleansing treatment for the kidneys and it's natural,” it explains.

Scent leaves are called efinrin in Nigeria’s Yoruba language. The plant’s scientific name is Ocimum gratissimum. Its other English names are wild basil or tree basil. 

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. The kidneys filter the blood, remove waste and control the body’s fluid balance. But can your kidneys be “cleaned” by drinking a tea made from scent leaves?

Kidney disease is serious

There is no scientific proof for this, Dr Fatiu Arogundade told Africa Check. He is a nephrologist in the renal unit at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ife in southwestern Nigeria. 

A nephrologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases of the kidney. 

“I am not aware of any effect the plant has on the body. It is not scientifically proven to be effective on the kidney,” Arogundade said. 

“If anyone should have kidney failure or its symptoms, the person should see a physician as soon as possible. Kidney disease is not something that should be managed by just anybody or anywhere. It is too delicate.

“Besides it is impossible for a normal kidney to accumulate salt. The moment your kidney starts accumulating salt, then there is something wrong. It means it is no longer functioning,” the doctor said. – Jennifer Ojugbeli


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