African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 12, No. 4, 2012, pp. 566-568
Bioline Code: hs12096
Full paper language: English
Document type: Case Report
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2012, pp. 566-568
© Copyright 2012 - African Health Sciences
Geophagia in Transkei region of South Africa: case reports|
Background: Soil has been eaten by humans under various names all over the world. It was used as a spread on the bread
instead of butter in Austria known as ‘mountain tallow’ and in German known as ‘stone butter’. Earth is tasty in various
countries, termed as ‘American earth’, ‘Earth of Samos’ and ‘Nishapoor earth’, continues to make geophagia habit.
Objective: To highlight the problem of geophagia in the Transkei region of South Africa.
Case reports: First, one is (XM) of a 35 years woman who divulges her history of geophagia at Sinawe Center. She
consumed fresh earthworm dig-out soil after smelling it. This has happened in her first pregnancy in her first trimester. The
second, one is an adult women 55-years; she had consumed red bricks for last 15 years. It is not related with her pregnancy.
She keeps bricks close her bed and eats when she feels to eat. She used to complain abdominal pain and off and on loose
motions. She had bladder stones, which passed through urethra. The history of geophagia, mechanism of craving for soil,
and associated cultural belief has discussed in this case report.
Conclusion: There is geophagia in the Xhosa community is prevalent and socially accepted.
soil, earth, craving, earthworm, and belief.