Home Health Tips Fake health tips that claim to fight against coronavirus – The Daily Star

Fake health tips that claim to fight against coronavirus – The Daily Star

9 min read


But really, they don’t work. At all.

When any disaster occurs, misinformation and rumors pop up in far greater numbers than the truth. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, people all around the world are making strange claims to solutions to the virus. While all have been ineffective and largely harmless, others have caused death. Social media is a breeding ground for such misinformation. Here’s the worst of the bunch you need to avoid.

Drinking Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is actually a good disinfectant that minimizes the chance of getting infected with coronavirus. In Iran, some people thought if alcohol-based hand sanitizer killed the virus living on the surface, then it could surely wipe out the virus from the body in case you drank the main ingredient of it and that is alcohol. It didn’t work and more than 300 people died because of the excess consumption of methanol. Around 3000 people are still sick.


Garlic keeps away vampires. Not so good against Covid-19. In Tunisia rumour spread that garlic can prevent COVID-19. The World Health Organization has denied this claim and tried to calm Tunisian people. Price of garlic has risen to around 20-25 dinars ($7-$8.85) per kilo in Tunisia where people’s average monthly salary is around 600 dinars ($208). One woman went through a severely inflamed throat after consuming 1.5kg of raw garlic.

Cow urine and dung

Many Indians believe cow urine and dung to have healing powers instead of being waste products. Dozens of Hindu activists even held a cow urine party in March to protect themselves from coronavirus. But the Indian Vitrological Society has already denied this claim and cleared that cow urine has no anti-viral characteristics. Moreover, there is a doubt that cow dung can be proved as counterproductive in case of coronavirus because bovine faecal matter can contain this virus and spread in human bodies. A volunteer fell ill after drinking cow urine at that party and the activist who organized that party was arrested by the local police.

Colloidal silver

The use of colloidal silver was promoted on an episode of US televangelist Jim Bakker’s show. The guest of that episode claimed that the silver solution can kill some strains of coronavirus within 12 hours though it hadn’t been tested yet! For broadcasting a non-evidence based information, the show along with other 6 companies having the similar claims were warned by the FDA and FTC. Silver has nothing to do with the functions of the human body. It can harm skin and damage kidneys.

Asiatic pennywort or Thankuni pata

Bangladesh saw a spike in sale of Asiatic pennywort (locally known as Thankuni pata). One fine morning people went nuts looking for it because rumours suggested it really did. It has medicinal properties against certain skin diseases, diarrhea and a few others. Nothing has been tested to be effective against Covid-19.


An article in February claimed that researchers from the Zhenjiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that tea may help prevent coronavirus infections. It was claimed that tea has methylxanthines and it decreases the impact of the virus. Methylxanthines are found in tea, as well as in coffee and chocolate. But these substances have nothing to do with the virus. So drink tea if you want but it is not the cure for corona virus.

Drinking water every 15 minutes

People must keep in mind that ‘stay hydrated’ does not mean that you have to drink water as much as you can. Drinking too much water or overhydration can lead to water intoxication which can disrupt your brain functions. Water will not wash away this fatal virus from your mouth. If it manages to enter your stomach, the acids will kill it all. Let your kidneys have some peace.

Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)

Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is a kind of bleach solution containing 28% sodium chlorite and distilled water. People have been claiming for some years that it can be a helpful solution in the treatment of various diseases. Consumers are even instructed to add citric acid like lime juice to ‘activate’ it. Currently, this myth has been promoted by a famous YouTuber Jordan Sather who has thousands of the followers. The bleaching agent of the solution can cause diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and severe dehydration. Last year, the FDA warned other countries’ authorities about MMS’s negative effects.


According to a report in Kenya Today, a South African pastor named Rufus Phala of AK Spiritual Christian Church made his followers drink Dettol to protect them from this outbreak of coronavirus. It was reported that 59 were dead and four were in critical. But there is a lack of the coverage of other reputed publications and that report is already taken down from the website leaving us in a confusion whether it was true or not. In both cases, the concern of fake news is valid.

Don’t believe all the solutions you find on the internet. Follow authentic information portals like WHO and UNICEF along with reputed international news websites.. Always recheck the information you get. It won’t take much time. Just google it. If it’s true, authentic and responsible news portals are always there to cover and explain that thoroughly for us. 

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