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Doctors remove turmeric pieces that formed layers in elderly man’s lungs

IANS Apr 27, 2024

Using home remedies such as turmeric root or cloves to fight cough is a common practice, but a doctor on 26 April warned against using these, after removing turmeric pieces that formed layers in an 85-year-old farmer’s lungs.

The farmer was presented at Super Specialty Hospital in Pune with an intractable cough that he had been suffering for the last three months and subsequently led to difficulty in breathing. The man had previously visited several hospitals, but could not find a proper treatment for his cough.

The doctors suggested a CT scan of the lungs which indicated the presence of a foreign body.

Further, during a bronchoscopy procedure, it was observed that a foreign body had enlarged and formed layers in the lungs -- about 2cm long and 1 cm wide -- making it difficult to remove.

Using forceps and specialised instruments, and under local anaesthesia, the team of doctors successfully dislodged and extracted the foreign object from the man’s lungs.

They were initially unable to confirm the nature of the foreign body. But after cutting it they discovered that it had a yellowish colour, and it exhibited a yellowish hue.

“During the post-procedure interactions with the patient, the patient reported that he tended to put a piece of turmeric root in his mouth before going to bed, to alleviate cough symptoms,” said the Head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, who led the team of doctors.

He concluded that the piece of turmeric root must have accidentally entered the lungs during sleep and inadvertently lodged in his airway.

Following the treatment, the patient's prolonged battle with the painful cough ended, and he was discharged after a few days of recovery, the doctor said.

“Last year also, we removed a clove stalk from the lungs of a patient who was keeping it in his mouth for relief of his intractable cough. It is advised that keeping these objects -- turmeric pieces and clove stalks -- do not lead to improvement in cough but land patients in serious condition,” the Doctor said.

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