Side Effects of Palm Wine

Palm wine is a popular alcoholic beverage found in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and so many other countries. It is important for people to understand what goes on in the palm wine business, in order to be able to make healthy choices. The best form of palm wine that will benefit your health is the one that is fresh from the source. Make sure nothing has been added to it. If you are to buy palm wine from a palm wine vendor, make sure you trust the source and also make sure that nothing has been added to it. Here are some things to watch out for when drinking palm wine and some

side effects

Alcohol content
If you are drinking palm wine that has lasted for more than 3 days, its alcohol content is high because it has undergone fermentation. The percentage of alcohol in palm wine when it is fresh is about 2.3% and it is about 5% when it has undergone fermentation for about 4 days. If you are taking medication that prohibits you from drinking alcohol, you shouldn't drink palm wine. Taking alcohol in excess is a foundation stone for diseases in the future and strong palm wine is not an exception. The alcohol content of palm wine can cause:
1 Light head aches

2 Dizziness

3 Drunkenness

4 Addiction to strong palm wine and other strong drinks

5 Damage to the liver, heart, pancreas, brain and other body organs if taken for many years

6 Drinking excess alcohol for long can cause problems like erectile dysfunction in men

7 If a pregnant woman drinks too much alcohol, it can cause miscarriages, still births and some abnormalities in babies. It is important for pregnant women to know that alcohol is capable of crossing the placenta into the fetus causing fetal alcohol syndrome. This can lead to mental retardation and make a child to have a low intelligence quotient (IQ) and hence will be dull in school or any other activity that requires some level of IQ.

If you didn't buy palm wine from the source, it is possible that it has been diluted and adulterated
In villages, it is very easy to get to the source of fresh palm wine. Understand that selling palm wine is a lucrative business and in order for sellers to increase their sales, some of them dilute fresh palm wine with water and add artificial sweeteners like saccharine to make it sweet. After diluting palm wine, it usually looks lighter than normal and anyone who grew up around palm wine will be able to notice this difference. In order to hide this act, some palm wine sellers add cassava starch to the diluted palm wine to make it whiter. Adulterated palm wine can cause the following:

8 Diarrhea, stomach upset and other water borne diseases if unclean water was used to dilute the palm wine.

9 The artificial sweetener and sugar that is used to sweeten diluted palm wine can increase our risk of having type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

M. eluwa, E. Ekere, T. Ekanem, A. akpantah, A Igiri "Teratogenic Effect Of Beer And Palm Wine On The Histology Of The Fetal Kidney Of Wistar Rats" available at
Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Alcohol and public health. available at
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol Use and Your Health. Available at

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