Doctors divided over viral WhatsApp video on coronavirus cure

Chennai: One thing that has been thriving during the Covid-19 lockdown is WhatsApp forwards.

There are text messages and videos of cures for coronavirus. Many people forward them and some even follow the “methods” with a firm belief that they would be protected from the pandemic.

One message even claimed that standing under the sun for a couple of hours could kill the virus. And, a latest video being forwarded on social media platforms has a man sharing the cure for coronavirus, which apparently China had followed and eventually combated the deadly virus.

The cure he explained was inhaling hot water with herbs such as tulasi and drinking hot milk with herbs four times a day. He stated that this really worked and saved lives. However, allopathic doctors who saw the video called it “Pseudoscience”.

Dr Jayakumar, who works at Government Stanley Hospital, said, “Taking milk will improve immunity, but will not clear the virus.”

Dr Prashant, who works with a private hospital, said, “The video talks about steam inhalation, which helps in general all respiratory conditions in early stages, but not specifically coronavirus. When a person is sick with Coronavirus, this may not be enough. This video makes Covid-19 sound like a usual flu, which it is not. People who get sick moderately or severely need hospitalisation and they would not be able to do steam inhalation because lungs would get so bad by then. People need not panic, but should not take Covid-19 lightly. People took it lightly in Italy and we know what happened.”

Dr Ravindranath, secretary of Doctors Association for Social Equality said, “This video is a combination of science and pseudoscience. Inhalation and drinking milk help, but only to some extent.”

However, the video was supported by naturopathy practitioners saying it was a good way of improving immunity and preventing the virus.

Dr Deepa of Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and hospital, Anna Nagar said, “We have been giving similar advice to those who are in home quarantine. It can prevent the infection as the virus stays in the throat for five days.”

The doctor said they are advising people to have herbal drinks in the morning and evening for immunity boost.
“In the morning, one can take a concoction of 50 ml portions of amla juice, Tulasi juice, ginger juice, 10 ml of lemon juice and quarter spoon of turmeric in a glass of water. This should be taken in empty stomach. In the evening, five grams of Adhimathuram, quarter spoon of turmeric and pepper, 50 ml of ginger juice and Tulasi juice can be boiled and taken. Gargling with salt and hot water also helps.”

Both the remedies, she says, help in prevention of coronavirus. Facial steam, she says, helps a lot. “Add turmeric to the water or Tulasi leaves, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil”, she says.

As part of Ayush, Indian System of Medicine, they have been counselling quaratined patients. They help in stress management by telling them about breathing excercises and immunity boosting drinks by sending videos about it.


Naomi N