Healthcare/Biosafety

Will lemon juice protect us from coronavirus?

18 November, 2020

On November 17, 2020 web-page Tvalsazrisi.ge published an article titled “You won’t get infected with Covid if you use this easiest method once in three days”. The mentioned article discusses lemon juice and instruction on how to use it, which is featured as a preventive measure against Covid-19 infection. 

The article comes with a video from Russian Telecola TV depicting a cut from the interview with Dr. Yosef Wosk. In this video, the doctor recommends disinfection of throat and nasal cavity using lemon juice as a protection from the virus based on his 54-years long medical experience and together with the host calls for viewers to repeat this procedure at home.

Tvalsazrisi.ge “It’s easy to avoid COVID-19 infection: squeeze 2-3 lemons. Rinse your throat using a portion of the lemon juice.  Wet cotton swab in the remaining juice and thoroughly clean the nasal cavity with this solution once in 2-3 days”

Disseminated information as if lemon juice is a preventive measure against COVID-19 is false. It’s one of the COVID-19 related myths that were debunked by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, lemon juice cannot prevent COVID-19. According to BBC, the aforesaid claim is one of the most common coronavirus-related myths.

Using lemon juice to prevent COVID-19 is one of the myths debunked by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, there is no scientific evidence that lemon juice prevents COVID-19.  It’s noteworthy that the World Health Organization recommends the following as preventive measures against coronavirus to date: social distancing, wearing a mask, frequently washing your hands, and rarely touching surfaces (especially in public places).  

In addition, according to the information of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine,  lemon juice will not protect your body from getting infected nor will it stop the copying process of the virus. Moreover, lemon indeed contains Vitamin C that is essential for your health, albeit there's no evidence it bolsters and provides strong protection to the immune system.

According to BBC, the myth about treating the virus with lemon juice was first disseminated in China and doesn’t get old despite the fact that it has been denied on multiple occasions. Doctors don’t deny the health benefits of the lemon, albeit it’s impuissant against Covid-19. 

The cited Russian interview was fact-checked by the Ukrainian fact-checking platform as well.

The mentioned interview was first published on Telecola.TV Facebook page on September 21. Ukrainian fact-checking platform voxukraine.org highlighted several false information in the fact-check, including the one about treating the virus with aerosol and alcohol. Albeit, the version of the video disseminated on the Georgian web-page only discusses the use of lemon juice.

Dissemination of the information about false treatment on social network

As of November 18, the article of Tvalsazrisi.ge was shared in 14 different Facebook groups: კახა კალაძე თბილისის მერი (Kakha Kaladze the Mayor of Tbilisi), პროტესტი! Protest! Протест!, საქართველო და მსოფლიო (Georgia and the World), ირაკლი ღარიბაშვილის მხარდამჭერები (Supporters of Irakli Gharibashvili), ბიძინა ივანიშვილის მეგობრები "ფეისბუქზე" (“Facebook” friends of Bidzina Ivanishvili) nd so on. The mentioned article had the most interaction in the group Kakha Kaladze the Mayor of Tbilisi,where it has around 70 shares. Facebook user Qeti Vadachkoria and the Facebook page of Tvalsazrisi.ge disseminated the article about false treatment in different groups.  

Read other fact-checks on the same topic prepared by “Myth Detector”:


Prepared by Gvantsa Devidze 


Link to the archive: https://archive.ph/wFqew


The material uses data by CrowdTangle, a Facebook search tool