Locally brewed alcoholic beverages with herbal extracts are experiencing a huge consumption rate in Africa today. Many call it man-power, body energizer or action pill. It is popularly called paraga in western Nigeria. The mixture many believe serves as libido booster (aphrodisiac) among sexually active men.
The growth of sellers, manufacturers and consumers of these products suggests that it is an emerging booming business in Nigeria, with users increasing every day. The consumption is not limited to men alone, as women, old and young now derive pleasure in paraga.
There are variants such as a mixture of local gin and herbs, which come in forms called agbo, sepe, paraga, sapele water, to mention a few.
The ingredients of all these products are unknown to many, though, they derive pleasure in consuming them but lack knowledge of the contents.
Most of the contents and manufacturing process include the mixture of ginger, cloves, trona, camphor, onions, African lemon grass and other herbal extracts. After the mixture, it will be soaked in any type of gin.
ENCOMIUM Weekly sought the opinion of a medical expert about the health hazards of the consumption of these herbal mixtures called paraga. In the chat, he took us through several reasons why people should never consume paraga…
DR CURTIS OGUAMALAM – Gynaecologist
Consuming paraga is hazardous to human health. Most of the people consuming these products are aware of the dangers but they keep taking as much as they can. For instance, if you buy a pack of cigarette, it is boldly written smokers are liable to die young yet the information doesn’t stop them from smoking. The same thing applies to those drinking paraga.
People do not even know the source of what they are taking. All these are brewed to make money not for anything else. They are brewed with chemicals that can damage the body, shrink the liver and shorten the life span of the consumer. A lot of people now consume paraga with the hope that it gives energy, it boosts libido and other funny reasons but they got it all wrong.
The funny aspect is that those products are consumed by both men and women, old and young. In fact, the rate at which our youths are taking those dangerous chemicals is alarming. I think people need to be cautious of what they take into their body system and say NO to the consumption of these dangerous products.