Agbo is a local herbal concoction used to treat illness amongst the native Yoruba people. This local medication is prepared from various herbs to treat many ailments. Since time immemorial, many Nigerians have often relied on herbs because they are cheap, readily available, resistant to pathogenic organisms, perceived to act fast, and treat a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
People perceive herbs as being natural and hence safe. However, people are unaware that herbs are not free from adverse effects, which may be due to certain factors such as contamination, incorrect preparation and dosage, lack of standardisation, adulteration, and misidentification.
Agbo is commonly used by people in rural settlements and has been hailed as a cure for numerous diseases. It is now even becoming more popular in urban areas. Recently, the use of herbs has resulted in an increasing number of people suffering from kidney disease. This article will reveal how herbs can affect your kidney.
How herbs (Agbo) affect the kidney
Herbs are believed to cure various diseases, but the truth of the matter is that;
- The origin of herbs is contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms from the environment (e.g, water, air, and soil). Also, microbial contaminants may be introduced into herbs during handling, storage, harvesting, and preparations. Some medicinal plants growing in environments composed of heavy metals (e.g., mercury, chromium, arsenic) may bioaccumulate toxic heavy metals to a substantial degree. When harvested for the preparation of herbs, it can lead to various kinds of diseases. If heavy metals are consumed, they can accumulate in different organs of the body, which can lead to undesirable side effects such as kidney failure.
- Pathogenic microorganisms can occur in herbal medicines when prepared with contaminated herbs. These herbs’ effectiveness is reduced and poses a severe health hazard to users.
Kidney damage and Agbo consumption
Exposing yourself to herbal toxins to a certain level can cause the inability of the kidneys to pass excess urine, which can lead to nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity is a condition whereby there is an elevation in blood electrolytes. At first, it can be mild, but if not detected earlier could be critical.
Herbal medicine containing toxins from heavy metals and other contaminants can lead to nephrotoxicity (kidney damaging toxins). Therefore, you should have it at the back of your mind that some of these concoctions have adverse effects on the kidney i.e they can cause total kidney failure.
If you’ve misused the intake of agbo and/or you think you might be exposed to the risk of kidney infections, you should speak to a doctor now before it progresses to the total damage of your kidney.