Vegetable soup remedy touted by Sri Lankan Facebook users cannot cure Covid-19

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A recipe for vegetable soup was shared by Sri Lankan Facebook users along with claims that it would “cure” Covid-19 infection within three days. The claim is false: Medics said there was no evidence that the alleged drug could cure Covid-19.

The recipe was shared on this Facebook post on Aug 15, 2021.

It has been shared more than 1,000 times.

The Sinhala heading of the post means in English: “We will start tomorrow too. Hope someone will find this useful”.

The text in the post reads: “This soup recipe was taught by a doctor of indigenous medicine Wickramaarachchi.

“I gave this soup to all of the neighborhood kids when they tested positive and they were all cured.

“Radish, carrots, cabbage, pumpkins, beets – take them all in equal amounts and add 12 peppercorns.

“It’s okay to mix in curry leaves. Don’t mix anything else. Even if you don’t have corona, drink a cup full of it. If you’re a corona patient, drink three times a day for three days and the infection will be over.

“If the condition is serious, take five parts of a paawatta tree, chop and extract the sap and give it to the patient. A person who needed medical oxygen due to a coronavirus infection was saved by these means. “

Screenshot of the Facebook post recorded on August 18, 2021

A similar claim was shared here, here, and here on Facebook.

The claim is false: the alleged cure cannot cure Covid-19, experts told AFP.

‘No proof’

Professor Priyadarshani Galapatthy, head of the Department of Medical Humanities at the University of Colombo, said there was no scientific study to support this claim.

“There are several herbal products, home remedies, and different methods that encourage people to treat / prevent Covid-19 without solid evidence to support these claims,” ​​she said.

An official from the Sri Lankan Health Promotion Bureau also said the allegation was false.

“The consumption of vegetables is part of a balanced diet and contributes to nutritional diversity, which strengthens immunity. However, the claim that a vegetable soup alone would cure Covid-19 infections within three days is a false claim without any basis, ”the official said.

Indigenous medicine

Dr. LPA Karunathilake, a senior lecturer in indigenous medicine at the University of Colombo, told AFP that the ingredients listed in the post were not treatments prescribed in indigenous medicine.

“Eating vegetables will undoubtedly have nutritional value, but no one can claim that vegetable soup can cure a Covid-19,” he said. “It is completely wrong. There are no universal cures for any disease in Ayurveda or indigenous treatments. Furthermore, these vegetables are not even varieties that are prescribed for treatments in indigenous or Ayurvedic medicine.”

Dr. Karunathilake went on to say that people shouldn’t believe that drinking Pawatta juice will help improve a Covid-19 patient’s blood oxygen levels.

“If a patient infected with Covid-19 has difficulty breathing, they should be hospitalized immediately for treatment under professional supervision,” he said.

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