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Where do our foreskins go?

Most men who undergo circumcision do not know where their foreskins go after the process.

Most men who undergo circumcision do not know where their foreskins go after the process.


But Nhamo Jimu (63), a herbalist living in Banket, says as much as circumcision reduces the risk of sexually-transmitted infections (STI) after the procedure, according to tradition, the foreskin was burnt to ashes.

Jimu says the ashes are then mixed with some herbs, forming a concoction which when used could make one resistant to all sorts of STIs.

“A lot of young men who have gone under the knife and drunk the concoction cannot contract any type of disease. More so, even if one had sex with a woman cursed with the central locking system (runyoka), it will not have any effect whatsoever,” he said.

Jimu said he personally went through the procedure and was a living testimony to that.

“When I was circumcised, my foreskin was mixed with some herbs and I tell you during my youthful days, I was very strong even up to now. Even if I had sex without protection, no sexually transmitted disease would affect me,” the traditional healer said.

Most health experts only mention the benefit of circumcision, but do not explain what happens to the removed foreskins.

Just like any other procedure, the foreskin is disposed into dustbins as garbage.

Few people have dared ask what happened to their skin for they either would be in pain or just reluctant to ask during or after the operation.

Strangely enough, infants’ foreskins are said to be used as cosmetics. In an article in 2010, Sierra Black writing for Babble touched on the disturbing evidence of the infants’ foreskin usage.

An infant’s foreskin has special cell properties, similar to those found in stem cells. Their versatility means that they can be used to cultivate skin cells.

Because of this, they were not tossed out with the rest of the medical waste after a birth. Instead, hospitals sold them to companies and institutions for a wide variety of uses.

Companies would pay thousands of dollars for a single foreskin. According to the reports, some of the strangest purposes they are put to are:

Cosmetics — Foreskins are used to make high-end skin creams. The skin products contain fibroblasts grown on the foreskin and harvested from it. One foreskin can be used for decades to produce fancy face cream like the SkinMedica products hawked on Oprah.

Skin grafts — In addition to making products for skin, a baby’s foreskin can be turned into a skin graft for a burn victim. Because the cells are extremely flexible, they are less likely to be rejected.

Currently, this technology can be lifesaving in providing a real skin “band aid” to cover an open wound while a burn victim heals.

Researchers at Harvard and Tufts universities are working on advanced skin replacements that use human foreskins.

Cosmetic testing — All those cruelty-free cosmetics you buy? Some of them are tested on foreskins.

This yields better results, since they’re human skin. And it saves the lives of the rodents your shampoo would otherwise be tested on. According to Wikipedia, about one-third of males worldwide are circumcised.

The procedure was most prevalent in the Muslim world and Israel (where it is near-universal), the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa; it is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and most of Asia.

The origin of circumcision is not known with certainty; the oldest documentary evidence for it comes from ancient Egypt.

Various theories have been proposed as to its origin, including as a religious sacrifice and as a rite of passage marking a boy’s entrance into adulthood. It is part of religious law in Judaism and is an established practice in Islam, Coptic Christianity and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

However, none of the provided information explained in detail what happened to the foreskin, suggesting a number of factors, among them that foreskins have no use at all after removal.

The second being that no one dared find out. In traditional beliefs, Jimu’s information could be vital if it proved the spiritual side of things which science doesn’t approve of.

Jimu has circumcised all his sons. One of his sons, Lucky, in his mid 20s, believes his father’s theory.

Jimu encourages most young men to be circumcised as that will make them strong even in bed when they get married.

But he warns that the use of the foreskin to protect one from STIs is not a passport for promiscuity.

“During our old days, we were well behaved. That’s why you see we’re not dying much compared to your generation,” Jimu said.

Scientifically, circumcision has been proved to be a way of preventing one from STIs.

But studies evaluating the effect of circumcision on the incidence of other sexually transmitted infections have reached conflicting conclusions.

A 2006 meta-analysis found that circumcision was associated with lower rates of syphilis, chancroid and possibly genital herpes.

A 2010 review of clinical trial data found that circumcision reduced the incidence of HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus, type 2) infections by 28%. The researchers found mixed results for protection against trichomonas vaginalis and Chlamydia trachomatis and no evidence of protection against gonorrhea or syphilis.

Among men who have sex with men, reviews have found poor evidence for protection against sexually transmitted infections other than HIV, with the possible exception of syphilis.

Health institutions encouraged men to go through the circumcision process, but remained mum about where their foreskins were taken to. So before one gets circumcised, they must ask to see their foreskin after the process and put it to good use.

Until proven otherwise, it remains a mystery where the circumcised men’s foreskins are taken to — sold or destroyed!