Turmeric and Lemon Help Fight Coronavirus? Doctors Say No Proof

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri is among those who have claimed this on social media, but doctors say there’s no evidence.

Updated
WebQoof
2 min read
Over 70 cases of coronavirus have been reported in India.
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CLAIM

Amid the rising global fear around the novel coronavirus, a tweet has been doing the rounds on social media claiming that consumption of turmeric and lemon helps ‘fight’ coronavirus.

The tweet by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri goes on to claim that homemade rasam, a south Indian dish, is also very useful and effective against COVID-19.

“Turmeric and lemon are two simple, cheap and handy things you can use regularly to fight #CoronaVirus. Homemade Rasam is also very useful,” Agnihotri said in the message, which was shared with his over 2,58,000 followers.
Screenshot of the tweet. 
Screenshot of the tweet. 
(Source: Twitter)

(An archived version of the tweet can be viewed here.)

WHAT’S THE TRUTH?

The Quint spoke to Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant - Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, who said that there is no evidence to support the argument that these substances are effective against the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

“We have no evidence that these substances can treat coronavirus. The claim is not correct and there is absolutely no evidence that these agents are effective against the virus,” he said.

Commenting on the confusion such messages can create, Chatterjee noted, “These substances are commonly used (as home remedies) in viral related diseases but their success against coronavirus is a matter of medical verification.”

Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Internal Medicine Specialist at Max Healthcare, also rubbished the claim and said it was not ‘medically substantiated.’ He explained that Vitamin C in citrus fruits has a positive impact on respiratory immunity but there is nothing to conclude that it is effective against COVID-19.

The Quint also reached out to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and they too rubbished the claim.

“There is no scientific evidence that lemon or turmeric or rasam prevents COVID-19. However, in general, WHO recommends consuming adequate fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.”
WHO

In the wake of the outbreak (now termed a pandemic by the World Health Organisation), many such claims have been circulated online. The Quint has examined all these claims and you can read all our coronavirus fact-check stories here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on Whatsapp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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