FIT WebQoof: No, Garlic Water Cannot ‘Cure’ Coronavirus
How to keep track of all the news updates about the coronavirus? What’s real and what’s medical fake news? Read here
As of Monday, 3 February, at the time of publishing the Coronavirus has infected around 17,200 lives in China and infected 3 in India. With fresh updates coming in constantly, it can get hard to verify fact from fiction.
From a now-deleted ANI tweet to Whatsapp forwards, the latest viral message about coronavirus is that it can be cured by boiled garlic water.
True or False?
We’ve heard this cautionary tale of home-remedies for viral infections. But how true is it?
Dr Sumit Ray, Senior Consultant, Critical Care Medicine says,
“There has to be proof by rigorous research before verifying a certain medical claim. The effect of garlic or garlic water hasn’t been studied in the scientific way that medical practice requires on any viral infection or nCov in particular.”
He adds that while there may be anecdotal evidence, but modern science needs robust research methodologies on proven cause and effect to come to a conclusion.
“So far, there has been no published research in recognized journals to prove this.”
What About Traditional Remedies?
On the other hand, raw garlic and ginger are known to be both natural treatments to boost immunity but they are not a sure-fire cure for the novel coronavirus. Eating citrus fruits or peppers may help too but they are not a substitute for a medical vaccine.
Of these home-remedies, Dr Ray says, “These are difficult to prove through scientific methodology and hard rigour, and from the lens of modern medicine are vague claims if not thoroughly researched.”
But while it may be difficult, it’s not impossible to prove the claims of herbal or alternative medicine through modern scientific analysis.
“Certain modalities from traditional medicine have come to modern medicine. For example, Artemisinin and Quinine were first used in traditional Chinese medicine but are now used to make drugs to treat malaria, after undergoing proper research on their effectiveness.”Dr Sumit Ray, Senior Consultant, Critical Care Medicine
What Does WHO Say?
The WHO did content that garlic may have some antimicrobial properties, but “there is no evidence that it can protect people from the current nCov outbreak.”
In Conclusion: Be Wary of Unresearched Medical Claims
All in all, these claims are just that - claims without proof of effectiveness. And in a time when fears about the novel coronavirus are spreading fast, Dr Ray says that it is important to remember that solid proof is needed before verifying a medical claim.
So for now, take the routine precautions and steer clear of unresearched claims and fake news!
(Not convinced of a post or information you came across on social media and want it verified?Forward it to +919643651818 on WhatsApp or e-mail at WebQoof@TheQuint.com and we'll fact-check ✔ it for you.)
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