Ms. Nirina Ravololona, 55, sells ginger and lemon at the Ambodivona market in Antananarivo on March 26, 2020. - The Ambodivona market bustles even more than usual, as vendors were quick to hitch on to the pandemic as a new business opportunity. Some vendors quickly switched from selling their usual products to selling ingredients for natural remedies to boost the body's immune system. (RIJASOLO / AFP)

Putting lemon drops up your nose does not kill Covid-19, experts say

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A video has been shared repeatedly on Facebook in which a Hindu priest claims that putting lemon drops up your nose will kill the coronavirus. The claim is false: the World Health Organization (WHO) said there is no scientific evidence that lemon can fight the virus. Experts also said there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that vitamin C can prevent or treat Covid-19.

This video was shared here on Facebook on May 1, 2021.

The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “One lemon has become a healer. COVID positive patients should put three drops of lemon in each nostril to kill the virus. This treatment has been tried by many and have been successful.”

The unidentified Hindu priest in the video recommends the remedy, which he claims has cured people infected by the virus.

The same video was also shared here and here on Facebook.

The claim in the video is false.

The regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in South-East Asia told AFP that there is no scientific evidence to show that lemon juice can kill or prevent coronavirus infection.

The WHO also debunked the claim on its website. “There is no scientific evidence that lemon prevents Covid-19. In general, however, WHO recommends consuming adequate fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet,” it said.

India’s public information department also debunked the claim here on Twitter on May 1, 2021.

“In a video, it is being claimed that putting drops of lemon inside the nose can kill coronavirus. This claim is false, there is no scientific evidence to prove that putting lime drops in the nose can kill the virus,” the tweet reads.

Harvard Medical School published a list of potential Covid-19 treatments here on April 22, 2021.

The list does not mention anything about putting lemon drops in your nostrils.

When it comes to vitamin C, which is found in lemons, it states that there is “no clear or convincing evidence that it works for Covid-19 infections”.

Health experts working with US-based non-profit Meedan said there is currently not enough scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin C supplementation will prevent, treat, or cure Covid-19.

AFP has previously debunked similar claims that lemon can cure infection here and here.