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No evidence combination of lime leaf extract, hot drink cures toothache

Claim: Lime leaves extract and hot drink (ogogoro) cures toothache.

No evidence combination of lime leaf extract, hot drink cures toothache

There is no scientific evidence that shows the mixture (lime leaf extract  and ogogoro) works for toothache. 

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Toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. 

Pain may also occur after an extraction (tooth is pulled out). Pain sometimes originates from other areas and radiates to the jaw, thus appearing to be tooth pain. The most common areas include the jaw joint , ear pain, sinuses, and even occasional heart problems.

Bacteria growing inside your mouth can contribute to gum disease and dental decay, both of which can cause pain. Often, gum disease will not result in any pain.

Recently, a blog post by kanyinzcreativity claims lime leaves extracts when applied to the teeth for 4-5 minutes with 5ml of hot drink in your mouth for another 5 minutes and then rinse your mouth with hot drink (ogogoro) for two days, the pains will go and this will kill the worms in your teeth. 

Lime leaves contain some antioxidants. They also contain limonene and citronell which both contribute to the flavor and fragrance of the leaves and have been shown to have antimicrobial properties. 

Ogogoro (hot drink) on the other hand also known as “kai -kai” or “Eegun inu igo”, is a popular local gin made from fermented palm wine and sugarcane. It contains 30-60% alcohol.   


Dubawa conducted a keyword search which led to some articles and video. An article claims the mixture (lime leaf extract and ogogoro) works for toothache. However, this comes with a warning that the hot drink should not be swallowed but used only to rinse the mouth.

Also, a Youtuber who posted the benefits of lime leaf noted that lime leaf can be used for toothache and other purposes. 

Meanwhile, in our research on the mixture, Dubawa found out that most of the articles written were on lime extract itself and just a few on the lime leaf extract and ogogoro.

Expert opinion

Mrs Freda Felix ,a dentist, said  she is aware that lime extract works for toothache as more of a home remedy for toothache but she does not know about lime leaf extract and ogogoro. 

“That lime  extract can work to some extent but the ogogoro isn’t something I know to be working for the toothache.

“Even the lime extract won’t cure it but will relieve you of the pain for some moment and it comes back again.”

Felix added that the lime extract can be used as an urgent home remedy but  she encouraged people to go to dental clinics for proper medication.

Miss Bernice Apemiye, a global health nutritionist, said according to the World Health Organization, between 65% and 80% of the populations of developing countries use medicinal plants as remedies. 

She also noted that several studies show that different medical plants are used in the treatment of tooth aches in different African countries but Lime leaves and alcohol is not one of them. 

“According to several reports, the use of several medicinal plants has a long history of treatment of toothaches, and have long been used worldwide. Several studies carried out showed that in Tanzania ,32 medicinal plants are used in the treatment of toothache in Cameroon, Local communities in Burkina Faso used 62 medicinal plant species for the treatment of oral diseases, of which 41 plants are utilized for the treatment of toothache alone. 

“In Madagascar, local communities of Mahajanga used 63 plant species to treat dental pains and 23 plants to treat periodontal diseases. A similar study conducted by Ngari et al. and Delfan et al. also showed that local people in Kenya and Lorestan Province of Iran used 12 and 14 medicinal plants, respectively, in order to get relief from toothache. All these studies didn’t talk about the use of lime leaf and alcohol for the treatment of toothaches”.


Though there are few articles that agree with  the claim that lime leaf extract and hot drink (ogogoro) work for toothache, there is no scientific evidence that shows the mixture truly cures toothaches.  

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