This report sheds light on the alarming consumption of Adimenu, an indigenous herbal concoction prevalent in South-West Nigeria. This seemingly innocuous remedy, falsely presented as an all-healing elixir, is unknowingly ingested by many individuals. Unfortunately, these individuals are oblivious to the perilous truth that lies within this lethal potion – a sinister mixture derived from tobacco extract and fermented cow urine. Fifty-eight-year-old Mrs. Taiwo encountered enduring torment from excruciating joint aches and hypertension for a considerable period.
Having seemingly exhausted all possible remedies in her quest for healing, she laid bare her exasperation to a fellow merchant while visiting the bustling Mushin Market in Lagos. Enthusiastically promoting the exceptional capabilities of Adimenu, a herbal concoction available locally, the woman offered assistance to Mrs. Taiwo. She confidently assured that once the medication was used, all ailments would be eradicated, guaranteeing an end to her ill health. Taiwo expressed astonishment, sharing with the media her absolute bewilderment at the inexplicable fact that she miraculously survived the consumption of the cocktail.
Economically disadvantaged people turn to herbal mixtures for solution.
She had told news correspondents that she had encountered one of the hawkers the next day and had purchased a bottle for ₦300. The hawker had instructed her to retain a spoonful of the mixture in her mouth for a duration of five minutes before expelling it. If Mrs Taiwo’s daughter, who was present during that fateful night in July 2023, had not been there, the business woman’s life would have been lost. Recounting her story, upon consuming a spoonful of the mixture, as instructed by the provider, to be gargled for a duration of five minutes and discarded thereafter, she immediately began perspiring excessively and trembling.
A blend of roots, barks, and leaves from various plants are combined to create herbal elixirs, which undergo a process of immersion in either water or alcohol. There is a widespread belief that individuals who are economically disadvantaged often turn to herbal mixtures instead of conventional medicine, seeking them as a solution for various health issues. Contrary to expectations, the renowned Adimenu, a herbal concoction native to southwest Nigeria, has been discovered to be produced using tobacco extract and cow urine, according to extensive research.
Immediate breakdown following the use of the mixture.
Herbal medicine dealers predominantly sell a range of toxic mixtures graded from one to five, with prices varying from ₦100 to ₦500 per bottle. In the span of only fourteen days, two individuals have tragically perished as a result of ingesting this lethal combination of natural herbs, as reported online. According to investigations, individuals who consume the Adimenu herbal concoction experience dizziness as a side effect. Moreover, instances of unexpected collapse, requiring hospital admission, along with complaints of severe headaches and digestive ailments have been documented.
According to findings, the herbal blend that is commonly manufactured in Nigeria is mainly concentrated in the South West area of the country, particularly in the states of Oyo and Osun. Nevertheless, its expansion has extended to different geopolitical regions within the nation, such as the North Central area specifically in Kwara State, as well as the North East area, precisely in Gombe States Bauchi Park. A commercial bus driver, told news correspondents that Adimenu comes in handy as a treatment for his back pain and diabetes, but becomes very weak and sweat profusely each time he uses it.
Researchers cautions users of the local herbal mixture.
Adimenu is reputed to possess remarkable healing properties, offering relief from high blood pressure, excruciating body discomfort, digestive ailments, as well as aiding stroke recovery, among various other conditions. Researchers said that a major ingredient in Adimenu preparation – Nicotiana tabacum, is a herbaceous plant mostly known as tobacco. “Locally, people extract this plant with cow urine, they call it ‘Adimenu’ and they claim it is effective in managing various ailments, even with taking just a spoonful of the extract,” they say. In the end, they recommend that local consumers be cautious of the rate at which they consume their regular “Adimenu.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Website