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7 "Coronavirus Cure" Food Scams You Shouldn't Believe

Drinking bleach, silver, or taking herbal supplements are just a few of the absolutely ridiculous examples.
garlic in bowl unpeeled

A number of get-rich-quick schemers are looking to take advantage of the current coronavirus outbreak.

As the world deals with the dangers of this global pandemic, a depressing number of suspicious cure-all solutions have emerged as well. (The truth is, common sense and thorough hand washing are the best approaches to avoid COVID-19, and there is no known cure as of yet.) In response, the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration released a joint statement warning seven companies of scamming people with false coronavirus cures.

So, if you come across someone hyping a coronavirus cure or prevention product, don't believe the hype. Here are the food-related scams of which you should be very skeptical:

1

Drinkable Silver:

Yes, you can purchase colloidal silver, which looks just like water and has been claimed by some to be a cure for the flu. Except… it isn't.

The FTC recently warned disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker for irresponsibly peddling a product called "Silver Solution" as a cure for coronavirus, as well as a company called Vital Silver. The Florida-based "health" company sells essential oils and other products, and posted a message on Facebook that read: "Wellness!! Vital Silver!!! Simple!!! Go on the offense this year against viruses including the Coronavirus—it's simple!"  But that's fake news, people.

In short? Silver does NOT prevent or cure coronavirus.

2

Essential Oils:

Nope, essential oils do not prevent coronavirus either. But that hasn't stopped a few companies from trying to sell what is better be called essential snake oils.

A company called Guru Nanda posted a message on its website that read, "Just what is this new Coronavirus, and how can you prevent and/or treat it? After reading this article, you'll be well equipped and informed to decrease your chances of becoming infected." Guru Nanda also offered 50 percent off on its essential oils with the discount code "Corona."

Thing is? Essential oils have zero impact on coronavirus.

3

Bleach:

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It may seem crazy to read the following, but it needs to be said: DO NOT DRINK BLEACH. Yes, there are some people who believe that consuming something called "Miracle Mineral Solution" can prevent and/or cure coronavirus.

The health risk posed by the trend, and the severe reactions suffered by people who did drink this concoction of bleach cut with water, was enough for the FDA to warn U.S. citizens against drinking bleach in an official statement.

Bleach is an effective solution to keep countertops and other hard surfaces clean, but under no circumstances should bleach by entering into or put on your body.

4

Drinking Water Every 15 Minutes:

Woman hand's filling the glass of water.
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Yeah, we aren't sure who believes this either, but a viral Facebook post cited a mysterious "Japanese Doctor" who recommended this thirst-quenching approach to flush out any virus.

The post was shared over 250,000 times. But, Professor Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford told the BBC that "no biological mechanism" supports the notion that you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it. (Drinking water every 15 minutes will increase the frequency of trips to the bathroom, though.)

5

Avoiding Ice Cream?

Cookies and cream ice cream
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A viral message in East Asia erroneously claimed that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods will help keep you healthy amid the coronavirus outbreak. Obviously, this is not true.

Unicef communications employee Charlotte Gornitzka made clear in a statement:  "A recent erroneous online message…purporting to be a Unicef communication appears to indicate that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue."

6

Herbal Supplements:

Whether its traditional Chinese herbs or CBD/hemp related supplements, there is currently zero evidence that herb consumption will do anything other than transferring money from your pocket to the pockets of sellers of said herb supplements.

The FTC called out Idaho-based company, Herbal Amy, for publishing a listing from another herbalist about a "coronavirus protocol" type of herbal supplement.

7

Garlic Soup:

garlic in bowl unpeeled
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Yet another message going viral on Twitter and Facebook suggests that a soup made from boiling eight cloves of garlic in water will "cure" coronavirus.

Though Twitter has no fact-checking feature widely in place, Facebook responsibly tagged the post with a statement that read: "The primary claims in the information are factually inaccurate." Making garlic soup may make your kitchen smell like boiled garlic, but it will have ZERO effect on coronavirus.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
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