Alum rock, which has astringent properties, is supplied throughout the civilization to make cosmetics, in particular deodorant and aftershave actually. However before in Cameroon, prefer in several African countries, it is sought after for one more reason: typical ideas hold that it deserve to gain back a woman’s virginity.

Alum rock for sale at Yaoundé"s Moloko market.



Alum rock, which has actually astringent properties, is used throughout the world to make cosmetics, in specific deodorant and also aftershave actually. But in Cameroon and also a number of other Afrideserve to nations, it is sought after for an additional reason: standard beliefs host that it deserve to restore a woman’s virginity.

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Alum stone deserve to be found on industry stalls anywhere Cameroon, from the capital to the a lot of remote regions. The price for one rock starts at about 100 CFA francs, the tantamount of 15 euro cents. For one kilo, the price is 1,500 CFA francs, or 2,20 euros.

“In some neighborhoods, there is the majority of pressure on women to be virgins until marriage”

Ndangue Liliane Josiane Rose is among our in Yaoundé, wright here she is studying journalism. She investigated the methods in which alum stone is used in Cameroon.


Alum rock has actually different names in various areas. In the West, it’s referred to as “wothi”, however on the coastline, it’s referred to as “loba”, which suggests “God’s thunder”. Womales crush it into powder and also mix it through water; periodically, they include a bit of lemon juice or honey. They then use the concoction to clean their exclusive components, as the stone’s powder kills bacteria. But this mixture also provokes a momentary contraction of the vagina, which have the right to give the appearance of virginity to a womale who has actually already had sex-related relationships.


Alum stone is the majority of frequently supplied for this objective in the north areas of Cameroon, as well as in some parts of Nigeria. It’s generally offered by Hausa human being . In locations wbelow the majority of the populace is Muslim, tbelow is most pressure on women to be virgins until their wedding night. If a woman is not a virgin, she runs the danger of being shunned by her husband, and also the other women in her family will certainly likewise be looked dvery own upon.


In other regions, alum rock is provided by prostitutes. They usage it to clean themselves, but also because they believe it boosts the high quality of sex.



“This strategy need to absolutely not be used”

Doctor Joseph is a gynecologist in Yaoundé. In 2010, he functioned in a clinic in north Cameroon wright here he treated women experiencing from wellness concerns stemming from their usage of alum rock.


This so-called virginity is very short-lived, and occasionally the rock has no impact at all. However, its impacts on a woman’s health are catastrophic.


In general, womales have to not put any type of commodities in their vaginas, considering that vaginas have a self-cleaning mechanism. Alum rock destroys the vaginal flora that helps safeguard womales from sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, bereason the stone’s powder has actually the consistency of sand also, it inevitably provokes irritations, which have the right to cause severe situations of vaginitis. Finally, if a womale uses alum stone regularly, it will certainly cause the vagina walls to become rigid, and they deserve to then tear once they offer birth. This approach have to absolutely not be used.


As physicians, the difficulty we challenge is that women regularly wait as well long to gain clinical assist, because doing this suggests conceding that they lied about their virginity.

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This practice is not on the increase, which is why the authorities haven’t really tackled the problem, even though it reasons actual issues and tbelow is a dire lack of information about it.