Adegboyega Akere, a Consultant Gastroenterologist with the Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, says using broom to prepare ewedu soup could pose severe health challenges.
Ewedu is one of the local delicacies enjoyed in mostly the South-Western region of Nigeria. The delicacy derives its name from the vegetable (mallow leaves) with which it is prepared.
Preparation of ewedu soup entails using a special broom, known as ijabe, to mash the slimy vegetable.
However, Akere said that the age-old practice actually endangers the health of anyone who eats the soup as there could be deposits of broomsticks in the soup which when ingested, may not digest.
Akere narrated to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, how someone who had eaten ewedu soup containing a tiny piece of broomstick was rushed to the UCH recently.
“The broomstick settled in her intestine and did not digest. This resulted in the inflammation of the intestine,” he said.
“Two days after, the patient complained of severe stomach pains and a CT-Scan revealed that a broomstick was lodging inside her intestine.
“A surgical operation was carried out and in less than 24 hours, the patient was on her feet moving about.
“This clarion call is necessary because ewedu soup is the local soup of people in this part of Nigeria.
“The locals prefer it to any other soup; therefore, I will advise them to either blend or grind it on the stone before cooking. They should not use broom to mash the vegetable.
“Mothers must also be careful while preparing this soup, as it is the most common among the locals in weaning their babies,” he said he.
Ewedu is also known as Rama ayoyo among the Hausas, while the Igbos call it Kerenkere.