World Kidney Day: Why you should avoid Herbal Concoctions

Doctors at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital have identified herbal concoctions, hypertension and indiscriminate use of painkillers without prescription as the foremost causes of chronic kidney diseases in Nigeria.


The doctors, while noting that cases of chronic kidney diseases were on the rise, advised members of the public to lead healthy lifestyles in order to keep their kidneys healthy.


An honorary consultant physician and neurologist, Pedro Emem-Chioma, said this during the 2022 World Kidney Day celebration, themed, ‘Kidney health for all, bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care,’ on Thursday in Port Harcourt.

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Dr. Emem-Chioma said, “Herbal medications, concoctions, and even drugs like painkillers, which are commonly used in this environment without prescriptions needs to be avoided.

“In developed countries, diabetes is known to be a number one cause of chronic kidney disease. But in our environment, diabetes comes third after hypertension and glomerulonephritis, and are the three major causes of chronic kidney disease.

World Kidney Day: Why you should avoid Herbal Concoctions

“In this environment where there is no much control in the use of substances and drugs, if you look at the use of traditional medications, where people consume a lot of herbal medications, also people just go over the counter and pick up these drugs like antibiotics and painkillers from the chemist shops and consume them without prescription.

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“And you know that many of them have adverse effects which can lead to kidney diseases.”


On her part, a Consultant Paediatrician Nephrologist at the UPTH, Prof. Ifeoma Anochie, noted that herbal concoctions and other hard substances when taken by pregnant women can damage the kidneys of their unborn children.


Anochie advised women of productive age, as well as pregnant women to steer clear of traditional birth centres, in order to safeguard the kidneys of the infants.

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She said, “Kidney problems start even in the womb and that is why we want to tell women to be careful what they take during pregnancy because it can affect the development of their baby’s kidney.

“Pregnant women should avoid herbal medications, because you don’t know the things in them, they are a combination of many things, some would say they are nephrotoxic, in order words, they can affect the kidney.


“If you are living with your husband and you are looking for a baby, be careful what you take and avoid going to traditional birth attendants.”

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