Pajhwok Afghan News

Role of onion in Covid-19 treatment is not proven

KABUL (Pajhwok): With positive Covid-19 cases increasing in the second wave, some Facebook users and doctors suggest consumption of onions as treatment for coronavirus patients, but the Ministry of Public Health says otherwise.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says there is no scientific evidence to prove that onion consumption is beneficial for treating coronavirus disease.

Many studies have linked onion consumption with increased immunity, but the strain COVID-19 is so new that there have been no studies specific to onions and coronavirus.

Onion, which is vegetable, contains sugars, vitamins, especially vitamin C, minerals, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

However, it has not been discovered if onions can cure coronavirus while recently some countries have been able to develop vaccine for the disease.

Recently, some social media and Facebook users have published articles about effectiveness of onions in treating Covid-19.

Rumors about onion

Strongest virus killer: Dr. Atiqullah Basiri, a Facebook user, has posted an article on his Facebook page that says “raw onion is the strongest virus killer and antibiotic.”  He writes:  “After eating onion, quickly breathe and do not let the virus enters the lungs.”

He further said those suffering from cold or flu should perform this once a day; because raw onions kill coronavirus.

This Facebook post has been shared by a number of people shared with friends and about 230 others have liked it, seven people shared their views and welcomed the post.

A simple and positive cure for Covid-19 is discovered: Meanwhile, another Facebook user Abdul Jalil writes: “Good news for coronavirus patients! A simple and positive treatment has been discovered for coronavirus. Dr. Bahir, a famous doctor in Balkh, has sent a message to the MoPH, saying Covid-19 no longer needs any treatment.”

“Every patient and suspected person of coronavirus should smell pounded onion for at least seven minutes for five days in a row and three times a day. The patient will be recovered In Shah Allah (God willing),”he added.

This post, which was shared among friends, is liked by 16 users and some commented: “How about potato? Isn’t it a lie?”

One user asked: “Mr. Doctor, should we first boil the onion in water, or it should be smelled without boiling.”

A related article on a Facebook page titled “KhabarhaiDaqiq-i-Afghan News” which reads: “Dr. Jalal Younes, a lab doctor at Cairo Hospital of Egypt, gave the President of Egypt the desired result by testing physicians and nurses in the corona ward, as well as a large number of ordinary people who had been in regular contract with patients.”

The post continued all people should eat two raw onions in two time meals a day, chop one raw onion, put it in a plastic bag and make a hole the size of a nose so that the nose is inside the hole then take deep breaths through the nose for 10 minutes and exhale through the mouth, all lung infections will disappear.

This Facebook post has been shared 180 times, about 200 people have liked it and a number of others commented and welcomed the post.

AsmaGlubi, another user said: “That is absolutely right, the last time we experienced it, even shortness of breath gets better.”

But Ali Reza Nazari, another user, commented on the post: “I wish it was like that, I ate onions three times a day, but still I contracted the virus.”

Several other social media users have posted similar views and comments.

Consuming onions is good for boosting body’s immunity: “Firozudding Feroz, the former Minister of Public Health, also said in an interview that he used onions after being infected with coronavirus.

He added that in addition to foods that contain vitamin C, the use of onions was also useful to increase the body’s immunity because onions contain vitamin C, calcium and other vitamins which were antibacterial.

Video clip of the minister

Finding the fact: So far onion’s efficacy against Covid-19 is not scientifically proven

But the MoPH and a number of doctors say that onions are good for killing bacteria; but it has not been proven that onion is effective for coronavirus patients.

Dr. ObaidullahHashimi, head of Medical Association of Afghanistan, told Pajhwok onions and gingers were best antibiotics and were effective in killing bacteria.

But he added it had not been proven so far that the use of onion and its juice was useful for the treatment of coronavirus disease and there was no evidence in this regard.

There was also no evidence to support claims that use of herbal remedies were beneficial for coronavirus, he added.

Nabil Paktin, an associate professor of internal diseases and a specialist in cardiology, respiratory and critical care at Kabul’sRabiaBalkhi Hospital, told Pajhwok that rumors about the use of onions for coronavirus reflected the poor mentality of a community.

He said using onion was not new, but had a long history.  It was said that Russians believed onions kill different virus so they used placing them in hospitals and at homes.

He said educated Afghans transferred the idea from Russia to Afghanistan during the communist regime, which continued to this day.

According to him, in the past, people would put onions around necks of patients of jaundice and through that it would kill the bacteria due to the primitive mind, less advanced sciences and misunderstandings between officials of MoPH and the medical sector.

He explained: “Onions have very low amounts of fat, protein, sugar, sodium, sodium hydride and fiber. 100 grams of onions contain eight grams of vitamin C, while 100 grams of bell pepper is 10 times of that it means it has 80 grams of vitamin C. 100 grams of fresh green pepper contains 350 grams of vitamin C, so why not use other foods that have more vitamin C instead of onions.”

He said nothing had been discussed on major nutritional issues that benefited Covid-19 patients so far and proteins were more important to Covid-19 patients than vitamin C and other substances in boosting body’s resistance.

Referring to the former Minister of Public Health’s remarks about using onions, Paktin said they had advertised onions and vegetables to relieve pressure on them.

He added: “The former minister says things that come from poor minds and incomplete information of his illiterate advisors.”

According to him, so far there is no scientific study, test or research evidence in the world to say onions improve and protect Covid-19 patient.

He clarified that officials of MoPH and their advisors, who lacked specialized knowledge, could not deal with people scientifically and were forced to deceive the society with such words.

Meanwhile, MasumaJafari, deputy spokeswoman for MoPH, told Pajhwok about the effectiveness of using onions to treat Covid-19 disease, said except a vaccine nothing else had so far been developed against it. But she did not comment on the effectiveness or harm of using onions to treat Covid-19.

According to MoPH, since the Covid-19 outbreak, 52,147 positive cases have been registered, 41,610 have been recovered and 2,179 died in Afghanistan.

According to WHO, more than 79 million people contracted the virus, and more than 1 million died of the virus around the globe



“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”

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