Man hospitalized after swallowing 120 santol seeds

  • A man was sent to a hospital after swallowing 120 santol seeds
  • The man managed to flush all the seeds out naturally after three days
  • Doctors warn not to swallow the seeds as it can cause wounds inside the stomach or block digestion

According to an old wives’ tale in the Philippines, people eating santol or cotton fruit should be careful not to swallow its seed lest it grows in the stomach.

Apparently, there is some truth to this saying after a man landed in the hospital after consuming santol fruits and swallowing around 120 of the fruit’s seeds.

The 51-year-old Bienvenido Fernandez of Barangay Putlongcam in the town of Alicia in the Bohol province complained of stomachache and was immediately brought to the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in the provincial capital of Tagbilaran City.

There, doctors conducted an ultrasound on his stomach and confirmed that it was the santol seeds that caused the pain.

It turns out that Fernandez ate 30 pieces of santol, which contains around four seeds each. Instead of simply chewing on the sweet and sour meat and spitting the seeds out, he swallowed the fruit, seeds and all.

The man’s condition was worrisome and doctors were even prepared to operate on him if he would not be able to flush the seeds out on his own.

Thankfully, Fernandez was able to naturally get all the seeds through his system after three days, according to a a hospital clerk who talked to the Inquirer.

Meanwhile, physicians warn that people should not swallow seeds of the santol fruit, not because it can grow into a tree inside the stomach, but because its seeds can actually block the digestive tract or the pointed ends of the seed can damage or wound the linings of the stomach; leading to an infection.