Readers have asked us to fact check a widely shared WhatsApp message which claims that a student at the University of Pondicherry in India has found a home remedy for Covid-19. The message claims that the remedy, which includes pepper powder, honey and ginger juice can “eliminate the effect of corona up to 100%” and has been “approved by the WHO [World Health Organisation]”.
In fact, rather than endorsing this remedy, the WHO has said the exact opposite. It said that “there is NO scientific evidence that ginger, honey and black pepper protect from Covid-19 infection. In general, however, some spices are considered to have properties that may be beneficial for health”. This remedy has not been approved by the WHO.
A very similar post and home remedy was widely circulated on social media in 2020 and early 2021, the only difference being that this latest recipe suggests teaspoon measurements, whilst the earlier circulated ones suggested tablespoon measures of pepper and honey ingredients. This was fact checked and found to be false by AFP and Indian fact checkers Boom in July 2020 when it was first widely circulated.
This claim has also been fact checked recently by pan-Asian fact checkers First Check.