A message doing rounds on social media falsely claims that consuming a concoction made from wheat, barley and kalonji (nigella seeds) can cure diabetes. The message is attributed to a couple of doctors - Dr Tina Simmons and Dr Tony Almeida.
The message states that if diabetics consume this drink for two weeks, they can stop using insulin and blood sugar controlling drugs.
The message also describes the process for making the concoction.
“Put all the above ingredients in 5 cups of water.
Boil it for 10 minutes and put off the fire.
Allow it to cool down by itself.
When it has become cold, filter out the
seeds and preserve water in a glass jug or bottle.
_How to use it?_
Take one small cup of this water every day early morning when your stomach is empty.
Continue this for 7 days.”
We found Facebook posts with the same message that went back a few years.
We also found the same message being posted on a Yahoo Group Messenger Board in 2008. However, in this case, the information was attributed to a certain Sheikh Saleh Mohammed Tuwaijiri.
The message was sent to us on our WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We looked for Dr Tony(Anthony) Almeida on the internet to look for the source of the information. However, while we found one Dr Tony Almeida working in Mumbai, he was a general surgeon and not a kidney specialist as mentioned in the viral post.
The other doctor mentioned in the post - Dr Anita Simmons also didn’t return any results. Similarly, we couldn’t find anyone called Sheikh Saleh Mohammed Tuwaijiri.
We spoke to Dr Anoop Misra, Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, who told us that “there is no such “cure” for diabetes.”
However, Dr Misra agreed that since these are natural ingredients, it would not lead to any toxicity.
We also reached out to Dr Nitin Ranjan Kochar, who is a leading Ayurvedic medicine practitioner in Mumbai, who told us that “this recipe alone will never cure diabetes.”
According to Dr Kochar, wheat and barley and two complex carbohydrates and have an almost similar glycaemic index and adding kalonji may attenuate it to some extent.
"If someone tries to survive only on this porridge and not to eat anything after that, then yes, sugar levels will drop down but it will be very much an unhealthy way to manage or cure diabetes. Secondly, this strategy will not sustain for a long time as due to lack of proper nutrients, the body will produce its own fat and which will increase cellular resistance and in turn, will increase diabetes."Dr Nitin Ranjan Kochar, Ayurvedic medicine practitioner
He also told us that “no such recipe of a single diet regime has been advocated by Ayurveda.”
We also looked up for cure of diabetes and found an article on the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which said, “There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help”.
Based on our research, it was found that this recipe is not a “cure” for diabetes. One should not depend on it as a cure and stop taking medications as that can cause serious adverse effects. It is also advisable to consult a professional doctor before trying out any such “home remedy” one finds online.