WASHINGTON — QUESTION:
Will drinking hot lemon water with baking soda kill the virus? Does blow-drying your nostrils kill the virus?
Dr. Sanjay Maggirwar: Chair of the Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
World Health Organization: "Fact of Fiction"
Several viewers emailed the Verify team in search of answers. They wanted to find out whether at-home treatments were effective at killing the virus and protecting themselves and their families from contracting it.
One viewer was forwarded an email chain that lauded the results of drinking hot lemon water with baking soda.
The email chain reads: "Good afternoon, Super News ... Virus cure achieved. * The recipe is simple * 1. * Lemon * 🍈 2. * Bicarbonate * 🥛 Mix and drink as hot tea 🍵 every afternoon, the action of the lemon with hotter bicarbonate ta immediately kills the virus 🦠, eliminates it completely from the body. These two components alkalize the immune system, since when night falls the system becomes acidic and defenses lower. Everyone in Israel drinks a cup of hot water with lemon and a little baking soda at night, as this is proven to kill the virus. * Please pass this immediately *"
"What's the truth about this claim," the viewer asked.
To find out our Verify researchers contacted, Dr. Sanjay Maggirwar. He explained that coronavirus attacks your respiratory system, including cells in your throat. Lemon water just doesn’t have the power to reverse that.
"Free-floating virus at that point in the throat is very little, most of the virus is inside the cells," Maggirwar said. "The drink cannot penetrate in the cells and kill that virus."
We also looked to the CDC and the WHO, neither of which had any evidence this would work.
The World Health Organization writes online, there is no scientific evidence that lemon prevents COVID-19.
Another viewer inquired about the benefits of aiming a blow dryer at your nostrils.
Dr. Maggirwar explained that would not be an effective way to kill the virus.
Neither the CDC nor The WHO have pegged this as a possible treatment.
The way to protect yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or else use hand sanitizer, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and put distance between yourself and other people, according to CDC guidelines.
So we can Verify, there is no evidence that drinking hot lemon water, or blow-drying your nostrils, will protect you from coronavirus.