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Zinc, Raw Onions and Steam, Does Any Of It Work While Battling COVID-19?

Zinc, Raw Onions and Steam, Does Any Of It Work While Battling COVID-19?

Dr Vikas Maurya Director and Head of Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital helps us understand the efficacy of these home remedies for COVID-19.

This article is a part of a series by The Better India to share verified information about COVID-19 care. While several posts on various aspects of fighting COVID-19 are being circulated on social media and messaging services like WhatsApp, we urge you not to trust unverified content. To separate fact from fiction, we will be sharing the videos and content with doctors and experts and bring you their responses with scientific research-backed information.

We are all part of at least two, if not multiple, WhatsApp groups. Given current times, discussions in most of these groups revolve around COVID-19 precautions, care and home remedies. One such WhatsApp forward doing the rounds is as below.

In view of the rise in COVID-19 cases, sharing with you Safety measures recommended by Patrick to follow daily:

1) Take 30mg of Zinc element supplements daily.
2) Eat 60gms of raw onion in the evening with your meal. Sulphuric acid from the raw onion helps destroy the virus in the nasal passage. The virus stays in your nasal passage for 4 days before entering your lungs. So attacking it in its initial stage is the best form of defence.
3) Do inhalation with plain clear hot water every night before sleeping (inhale 10 times through the nose and exhale through the mouth and inhale 10 times through the mouth and exhale through the nose) incase you come in contact with any virus through the day, it will be killed with the steam. Better to do it at least three times a day.

Please follow these daily and share it with your family, friends and acquaintances. Better to be safe than sorry (sic).

Dr Vikas Maurya, Director and Head of Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh comments on the efficacy of each point mentioned above.

Dr Vikas Maurya

Q 1. Is it recommended for one to include Zinc tablets as part of their general vitamin consumption? Or is it prescribed only if and when one tests positive for COVID-19?

Dr Maurya: Please take zinc only if you test positive for COVID-19 as it helps with immunity. One does not need to take it otherwise. Your diet will be enough to give you immunity provided it is balanced.

Q2. What is the truth behind eating raw onions? Is there any science behind this?

Dr Maurya: No there is nothing like this. It is a complete myth.

Q3. Does the virus stay in the nasal passage for four days before entering the lungs?

Dr Maurya: The virus usually starts as an upper respiratory infection, which is inclusive of your nasal passage. It tends to stay in the upper respiratory system when it is mild. If it moves slightly further down, it becomes a moderate case and on setting in the lungs it is categorised as a serve case. However, the duration of the virus in every stage is hard to determine.

Q 4. Can the virus be killed with steam?

Dr Maurya: No, the virus cannot be killed with steam inhalation. Steam only relieves symptoms of nose blockage, mucus formation, and helps those patients who have breathing difficulty on account of the same.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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