An age-old remedy of drinking a mixture of ginger, black pepper and honey to reduce cough is falsely being shared as a cure for COVID-19 discovered by an Indian student from Pondicherry University. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not approved any medicine or vaccine as a cure for COVID-19, so far.
BOOM spoke to the Vice- Chancellor of Pondicherry University who refuted the affiliation to the University. The origin of the message is unclear. Neither is it clear if the message started out as a joke.
The viral post says that an Indian student named Ramu from Pondicherry University has discovered a cure for COVID-19 which has been approved by the WHO. It further hails a remedy that Indians have been using for years to relieve symptoms of cough and cold. This is another addition to the list of home remedies which are being shared across social media to tackle COVID-19.
The claim reads, "Finally a INDIAN student from PONDICHERRY university, named RAMU found a home remedy cure for Covid-19 which is for the very first time accepted by WHO. - He proved that by adding 1 tablespoon of black pepper powder to 2 table spoons of honey and some ginger juice for consecutive 5 days would suppress the effects of corona. And eventually go away 100% - Entire world is starting to accept this remedy. Finally a good news In 2020!!
This claim is viral on all social media channels while BOOM received the claim on its WhatsApp helpline with a request to verify its authenticity.
The post hailing the student is also viral on Facebook and Twitter.
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Finally a INDIAN student from PONDICHERRY university, named RAMU found a home remedy cure for Covid-19 which is for the very first time accepted by WHO.— Muhammad 🇿🇦 (@mhassim_) July 10, 2020
- He proved that by adding 1 tablespoon of black pepper powder to 2 table spoons of honey and some ginger juice for 1/2
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BOOM contacted Gurmeet Singh, Vice Chancellor at Pondicherry University who refuted the claim.
"This is fake. The University has been dragged into these news. None of our students have made any coronavirus cure related discovery," said Singh.
Furthermore, the message claims that the WHO has approved this 'desi' concoction of black pepper, ginger and honey as a cure for COVID-19. The apex organisation has not approved any drugs or vaccines as a cure for coronavirus. Trials and experimental use of drugs such as AIDS anti-virals lopinavir and ritonavir, steroid dexamethasone, anti-viral drugs remdesivir, favipiravir, and immunosuppresant tocilizumab as well as plasma therapy are underway in many countries. There are over 132 vaccine candidates at various stages of vaccine development and clinical trials.
Effect of Ginger, Honey, Black Pepper
The message claims that a mixture of 1 tablespoon of black pepper with 2 tablespoons of honey and ginger when taken for a period of five consecutive days will successfully remove the virus from a person's body. BOOM reached out to Dr. Harish Chafle, Consultant Intensivist and Chest Physician, Global Hospital, Mumbai to understand the scientific basis for this remedy. Dr. Chafle said that its Ayurvedic properties may have helped against cough but there is no substantive proof for its action on COVID-19.
"As a home remedy, Ayurveda talks about their medicinal properties, for acting on coughs. Acting on coronavirus, a definite no," said Dr. Chafle.
While pepper does have antimicrobial properties, the WHO has clarified that it has no effect on SARS-CoV-2. Similarly, honey has antibacterial properties but its effect on COVID-19 has not been determined.
BOOM has earlier debunked a claim that Ginger acts against COVID-19. Experts said that there was no scientific evidence supporting this claim.
Many Indians drink concoctions of black pepper, honey, and ginger to relieve spasms of coughs. It is a type of 'kadha' consumed to treat itchy throats.
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