Numerous messages doing the rounds on social media claim that slaked lime or lime stone (chuna) could cure over 70 diseases — from infertility to jaundice and anemia.
These messages discuss the efficacy of drinking slaked lime mixed with pomegranate juice, sugarcane juice, curd, lentils and water to cure multiple diseases.
True or False?
FIT spoke to Dr Abhishek Gupta, Chief Medical Officer of NirogStreet, Dr R Achal, Vaidya, Chief Editor- Eastern Scientist Journal, and Dr Shivani Ghildiyal, Assistant Professor at All India Institute of Ayurveda, to find if there is any truth in these messages.
They denied these claims and said that such prescriptions given in the name of ‘domestic remedies’ could be dangerous.
Dr Abhishek Gupta said, “Posts related to calcium are going viral on social media, in which claims such as ‘chuna amrit hai’ are being made. People share such posts without any awareness or prior knowledge. At many occasions, these messages glorify Ayurveda medicines and herbs to an extent that people end up believing that these could miraculously heal anything!”
Slaked Lime Cannot be Consumed Directly for Calcium
“Slaked lime is also known as calcium hydroxide and limestone is known as calcium carbonate; and calcium is very important for the body. But that doesn’t mean you just directly eat calcium carbonate or lime. This could be harmful for health, and could even cause fatal diseases in some cases.”Dr Abhishek Gupta
Dr Shivani and Dr Achal explain that there is no mention of using slaked lime in any of these ways (eating or adding it) in Ayurveda books.
“This is totally fake. Chuna could be used in certain medicines, and especially as an external ointment. But it is not at all advisable to take it directly.”Dr R Achal
In fact, Dr Shivani adds that for anemia, pomegranate juice in itself is beneficial. So why is there any need to add lime stone to it?
Dr Achal also clarifies, “No, drinking lime stone mixed with pomegranate juice during pregnancy cannot ensure a smooth delivery. There’s nothing like this.”
According to Dr Abhishek, “Calcium carbonate is taken as an antacid for acidity, or calcium acetate is also taken to reduce phosphate levels in people with kidney problems. But in all instances, this calcium should be completely clean, pure and free of toxicity. And it should only be consumed in the right quantities, not more than 1000-2000 mg.”
“Calcium consumed in excess could be harmful. It could lead to kidney stones, kidney failure and sometimes death.”Dr Abhishek Gupta
He says that many people have soaked lime with betel leaf, putting themselves at higher risk of serious stomach issues and kidney related problems.
Experts believe that as far as consuming adequate calcium is concerned, there are many food items with calcium such as sesame, parsley, curd, beans, lentils, almonds, bananas, leafy greens, figs and milk — which could all be eaten.
Do Not Make Your Body a Laboratory
Such claims based on hearsay should not be followed blindly without confirmation by experts.
“Do not treat your body like a laboratory by believing everything on social media. Think and evaluate any medicine or prescription, or it could be dangerous and even fatal.”Dr Abhishek Gupta
All the doctors suggest visiting a specialist for any physical health related problems, no matter how big or small these might seem.
(This story was originally published in FIT Hindi. You could read it here.)