Geophagia is the practice of consuming the earth or product of the earth such as clay, sand, and chalk. Calabash chalk, popularly known in Ghana as Calabar, shilè, or kalo is one of the products of the earth that is consumed by people of different sex and age. Its use is common among women with pregnancy. Calabar is taken by pregnant women to cure their morning sickness which includes nausea and vomiting. Though there is no scientific proof that Calabar actually helps to prevent morning sickness, it is been consumed by some of our pregnant women. Calabash chalk is used in facial painting and also in the preparation of soap.
If you read this article to the end, I believe you won't continue eating calabash chalk anymore. Here are some of the problems eating calabash chalk can cause you.
Calabar was studied to contain a lot of elements some of which are hazardous to our health. Calabar contains excessive lead that causes a reduction in potassium and iron levels in the body. Iron and other vitamins are important in preventing anemia in pregnancy that is why doctors prescribe vitamins and iron supplements to pregnant women. As such, low levels of iron in the body directly lead to anemia which basically means low blood level. The fetus receives its nutrients through the mother's blood and hence your fetus may not get the nutrition required for its development.
Calabar contains toxic substances as well. These toxic substances can cause irritation of the stomach (gastritis) and stomach ulcer. A toxic substance in the gastrointestinal system can also trigger nausea. As you can understand, Calabar which is eaten for the purpose of relieving nausea rather causes it.
Scientific studies on mice revealed that calabash chalk affects the size and number of brain cells and other cells. Social behavioral abnormalities were reported as well. You may not accept these results on the basis that they were carried out on mice but remember mice belong to the same kingdom, Kingdom Animalia, as humans. So if animals are affected, humans can be affected too.
In summary, avoid eating Calabar to improve your chances of giving birth to healthy babies.
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