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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Is Palm Wine or Toddy Good for Health?

Palm wine is a drink made from the juice of different kinds of palm trees, such as coconut, date, and oil palms. It is popular in many parts of Africa and Asia, where the climate is warm and humid. Palm wine has a sweet and sour flavor, and it can become alcoholic if it is left to ferment. But is palm wine good for health? Here are some of the pros and cons of drinking palm wine.

Pros of palm wine

  • Palm wine has antioxidants, which are substances that protect your cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can cause inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can help prevent or reduce these effects by stopping free radicals from damaging your cells. Palm wine has vitamin C, vitamin B1, and riboflavin, which are all antioxidants.

  • Palm wine also has probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in your gut and help with digestion, immunity, and overall health. Palm wine has acetic acid bacteria and lactic acid bacteria, which can improve your gut health and prevent bad microbes from growing. Probiotics can also strengthen your immune system by making antibodies and fighting infections.

  • Palm wine may help increase breast milk production in mothers who are breastfeeding. Breast milk is the best food for babies, as it provides nutrients and immunity. Some studies have shown that palm wine can boost the amount and quality of breast milk by stimulating the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. These hormones are responsible for making milk and releasing it from the breast. Palm wine may also provide some hydration and nutrition for mothers who are breastfeeding.

  • Palm wine may help lower anxiety and stress levels. Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, fear, or worry that can affect your daily life. Stress is a reaction to difficult or threatening situations. Both anxiety and stress can harm your mental and physical health. Palm wine has potassium, which is a mineral that helps control blood pressure and nerve signals. Potassium can help relax your blood vessels and nerves, thus lowering anxiety and stress.

Cons of palm wine

  • Palm wine can also have some negative effects on your health if you drink too much or too often. Palm wine has alcohol, which is a substance that can affect your thinking, coordination, and reaction time. Alcohol can also harm your liver, brain, heart, and other organs if you drink it too much or for too long. Alcohol can also interfere with some medicines and cause side effects.

  • Palm wine can also cause dehydration, diarrhea, and food poisoning if it is not stored or made properly. Palm wine does not last long and can go bad easily if it is exposed to air or heat. Bad palm wine can have harmful microbes or toxins that can make you sick. You may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. Dehydration is a condition where you lose more water than you take in, which can affect your blood pressure, kidney function, and electrolyte balance.

  • Palm wine can also affect your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes is a condition where your body cannot make or use insulin well, which is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels. Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Both diabetes and prediabetes can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, and eye problems. Palm wine has sugar, which can raise your blood sugar levels if you drink too much or too often.


Palm wine is a natural drink that has some health benefits when consumed in moderation and with caution. It can provide antioxidants, probiotics, lactation support, and anxiety relief. However, it can also cause alcohol-related problems, dehydration, diarrhea, food poisoning, and blood sugar spikes if you drink too much or too often or if it is not stored or made properly. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor before drinking palm wine if you have any health problems or take any medicines that may interact with it. You should also limit your intake to no more than one or two glasses per day and avoid drinking it on an empty stomach or when driving or operating machinery.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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