As scientists continue researching treatments and cures for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, people stuck at home are concocting ways to boost personal immunity. While there are certain things known to boost immunity, like exercise and vitamin D, the suggestions seeping out of self-quarantine and socially distanced households are truly creative. These natural “remedies” have some natural health doctors on edge as homeopathy and natural medicine continue to be pulled into the coronavirus-caused spotlight.
To help our other natural medicine friends, we wanted to do a bit of myth-busting around some of these COVID-19 claims. Below, you’ll find the top myths about immune busting we’ve seen in the past few weeks.
Drinking Warm Water
There are emails and Facebook posts claiming the benefits of drinking warm water to ward off the virus. These viral posts encourage readers to drink warm water, or gargle with water, every 15 minutes. According to the posts, the idea is to “wash” the virus from your throat and into your stomach, where stomach acid will kill the disease. While it is always good to stay hydrated, this is not how viruses move through the body. Drinking water of any temperature will not protect you from the virus.
Immediate Immune Boosts
Dietitians around the world are receiving questions regarding the ability for garlic, ginseng, and mushrooms to improve immune systems. While eating healthily is the best way to maintain physical health, nobody should expect to achieve immunity overnight. Beginning to eat these immune-boosting foods is a good start to a healthier lifestyle, but pantry staples will not prevent people from contracting the virus.
Any nutritional supplement advertising the ability to kill or treat the novel coronavirus is a scam. While eating a balanced diet can boost a person’s immune system, that ability will not come in the form of a pill. No government has yet approved products to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. In fact, advertising these properties and selling products like this is illegal in most parts of the world.
While researchers continue searching for valid COVID-19 treatments, the best thing we can do is to stay as healthy as possible. For most people, this means eating a diet with sufficient protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, iron, healthy fats, and fiber. If you see something on the shelf that seems too good to be true, it likely is. Get outside (while maintaining social distance), get some vitamin D, and continue practicing essential hygiene standards set by the World Health Organization.