Can snorting dried ginger help prevent catching the Coronavirus? That’s what a viral WhatsApp forward sent to Newschecker claims. The video showing a man, claiming that dried ginger, due to its “alkaline properties” can prevent the coronavirus from infecting humans, is being widely shared on the messaging platform. The same video has also been shared on social media including Twitter and Facebook. Newschecker has found the claim to be untrue.
The viral message starts with an aged man highlighting concerns over the quick pace of spread of the Omicron variant of the virus, who goes on to elaborate about a ‘simple remedy’ that can prevent Coronavirus infection -‘sonth, or dried ginger powder’. Calling it ‘scientific’, the man explains that the reason for his claim is that dry ginger, being alkaline, can kill the infections that are acidic and have low pH value. ‘The virus travels through the nostrils to the throat and on to the lungs’, he explains, adding that snorting dry ginger can take care of the virus in the nose, preventing it from traveling further into the respiratory tract.
Newschecker found several such social media posts claiming that snorting dried ginger was an effective remedy against the Coronavirus.
We also received the same video on our WhatsApp tipline (+91 9999499044) asking for it to be fact checked.
What is a pH value?
pH value is a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is-low pH value denotes acidic compound and high pH indicates basic compound. The scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.
Newschecker began the fact check by conducting a keyword search of the words ‘Snorting dried ginger’ on social media platforms and Google which led us to several posts which identified the man in the viral video as prominent neurologist Dr Sushil Razdan while some others identified him as noted pulmonologist Dr Zarir Udwadia.
Newschecker looked up both Dr Sushil Razdan and Dr Zarir Udwadia and found that the images of neither of them match with the man seen in the viral image.
Further, we found several videos and reports on Kashmiri media outlets, where Dr Razdan had clarified that the man in the viral video was not him, and he further requested people to follow the Coronavirus protocols.
Probing further about the claims made in the viral video, Newschecker found several articles that debunked the theory that ginger can help prevent Coronavirus.
A myth buster on COVID published in the US’ National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine reads “Consuming ginger—whether by eating ginger root, drinking ginger tea, taking ginger capsules, or sniffing or adding ginger powder to your food—will not prevent or fight a coronavirus infection. Viral infections spread in your body when the virus enters your cells and makes copies of itself and then those copies enter new cells and repeat the process. Ginger will not destroy the virus in your body or stop the copying process.”
Regarding the alkalinity of ginger claim, another health resource site for journalists, Health Desk, by Meedan, says “Since viruses are not water-based, the pH scale does not apply to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the disease that causes COVID-19. While some illnesses or medications may cause blood pH levels to increase or decrease in our bodies, foods eaten as part of a regular diet do not have a significant impact on blood pH. Saliva and urine pH may change in response to diet, but these changes are variable from person to person and will not prevent or cure COVID-19.”
The viral forward claiming that snorting dry ginger powder can prevent COVID due to its alkaline nature, is devoid of facts and has been falsely attributed to Dr Sushil Razdan and Dr Zarir Udwadia.
Result: Fabricated/False content
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