Onions, inhalations & Co. against corona: a virologist explains whether home remedies help

Coronavirus, home remedies, dietary supplements
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay

Can known home remedies be useful for a corona infection? The virologist Alexander Kekulé commented on this in a podcast – and there have been numerous studies on the subject since the beginning of the pandemic.

Vaccines have been developed against the coronavirus that can help prevent infection and weaken the disease. A more effective remedy for the virus itself has not yet been developed. But the symptoms, especially in a weakened form, often resemble those of a cold. What can be done about this?

The doctor and virologist Professor Alexander Kekulé already answered this question in March 2020. In his podcast, which he produces in collaboration with Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR), he was asked how useful home remedies such as onions, garlic, sauna or inhalations are against the virus? Kekulé’s answer is surprising: “Basically, you can say: All home remedies are good for this disease, because it is first and foremost a cold.”

Home remedies for Corona: “Everything that is usually good for you when you have a cold …

The difference: the disease can become significantly worse over time than a normal cold. But they can be treated similarly, especially at the beginning. Kekulé does not recommend any special home remedies, but says: “Everything that is usually good for you when you have a cold should also be done. And most of them know what that is. “

The virologist also advises against trusting unusual recommendations from the Internet. Reports on alleged remedies are not very reliable – they recommend, for example, the urine of cows or highly diluted arsenic.

So home remedies can relieve some of the symptoms, but not the disease itself. This distinction is important, which is also underlined by statements by colleagues Kekulés. For example, the virologist Uwe Gerd Liebert explained that there is currently not even an effective drug against corona, he advises against relying on home remedies. Gargling with salt water does not help either, as the infected cells quickly reproduce large amounts of the virus.

Further home remedies for corona are being investigated: The results should be viewed with caution

Onion tea
Does tea help against corona? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple (Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / dungthuyvunguyen)

In the past few months, several home remedies have been examined for their effectiveness against Covid-19. With apparent success:

  • According to a study by researchers at North Carolina State University, the chemical compounds in green tea and muscadine grapes have anti-coronavirus effects.
  • Researchers at the University of Bochum came to the conclusion that coronaviruses can be “inactivated” by certain mouthwashes.

But these finds should be viewed with caution. The study from North Carolina, for example, is based on computer simulations and laboratory tests. It is unclear whether the foods in question also have the described effects in the human body. In addition, the food is only briefly in the mouth and “actually not in the respiratory tract”, explained Professor Friedemann Weber from the Institute of Virology at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen to ZDF. Effective concentrations could hardly be achieved purely via the blood and digestion.

The study on mouth rinses seems more promising, because according to the results, the viral load in the mouth and throat area can be reduced in this way for a short time. But even this does not replace treatment and does not prevent the virus from being produced in one’s own body. Studies have yet to show whether mouthwashes can be used effectively against corona at all.

Dietary supplements do not help against the coronavirus

Everything you need to know about dietary supplements
Dietary supplements do not help against the coronavirus (Photo: © robsphoto – Fotolia.com)

The Federal Ministry of Food (BMEL) also warns against false healing promises – from manufacturers of dietary supplements. Accordingly, more and more providers would suggest that their preparations could help against the corona virus.

“Dietary supplements can neither prevent nor cure COVID-19 diseases!” Writes the BMEL in a press release. “Their ingestion cannot prevent illness with the virus or, if infected with the virus, does not effectively alleviate or cure the consequences of the illness.”

In order to prevent infection with the coronavirus, the known measures continue to help:

  • Distance to other people
  • Thorough hand washing
  • Avoid touching the face if possible
  • Vaccinate to curb the spread of the virus

Read more on Techzle.com:

  • Coronavirus: finally see that this is not about you
  • Because of the coronavirus: 9 tips on how you can make good use of your time at home
  • Coronavirus: Warning, these hand disinfectants won’t help


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