These Are the Bogus COVID-19 Cures You Need to Ignore Right Now

Stay safe by being well informed about any coronavirus cures that sound too good to be true.

The only thing that seems to be spreading faster than the deadly COVID-19 contagion is misinformation about so-called "cures." Hope is an important thing to get through this trying time, but false hope can be dangerous. Given how potentially deadly the wrong bit of information can be, it's crucial to be able to distinguish an internet rumor from a real potential solution.

To help you both stay safe and avoid spreading dangerous myths, here are some of the rumored coronavirus "cures" you should steer clear of ASAP. And for more bogus coronavirus stories to avoid, check out 7 Fake Coronavirus News Stories You Need to Ignore.


pills spilling out of a container

This has perhaps been the most controversial non-cure, as it became something of a political football over the past few weeks after President Donald Trump promoted it. The enthusiasm for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was based on an international survey of over 6,000 doctors, in which a majority of those who have treated coronavirus patients ranked hydroxychloroquine as "the most effective therapy."

But a recent study conducted on hundreds of patients at U.S. veterans hospitals showed that there were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care. And in March, a man in his 60s in Arizona died after self-medicating with chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to cure himself of COVID-19. He and his wife reportedly ingested the household chemical, which is commonly used to clean fish tanks, in late March amid early reports that hydroxychloroquine can cure coronavirus.

So while everyone was hoping that this drug would be a successful cure for the deadly COVID-19 contagion, sadly, that is not the case.

Trinity COVID-19 SARS Antipathogenic Treatment

Frank Richard Ludlow of West Sussex, United Kingdom, was charged with one count of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison. He charged people up to $200 for his "Trinity Remedy"

There is zero evidence that the "Trinity Remedy," a curious combination of hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C, an enzyme mix, and potassium thiocyanat has any effect on COVID-19. But a man named Frank Richard Ludlow, of West Sussex, United Kingdom, took that product, renamed it the "Trinity COVID-19 SARS Antipathogenic Treatment," and sold it to consumers in the United States for $50 to $200, claiming it could cure the virus.

"Consumers were instructed to add 18 ounces of water, say a prayer, drink half of the solution, take a probiotic along with bee pollen, and then ingest the remainder of the solution," the U.S. attorney's office statement said.

In late March, Ludlow was arrested and charged with introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, a felony offense that can lead to up to three years in federal prison.

Boiled garlic

garlic isolated on white background

A message going viral on social media in March suggested that boiling garlic in water could "cure" the coronavirus. But Facebook caught on and tagged the post with the following statement: "The primary claims in the information are factually inaccurate."

As the World Health Organization (WHO) says: "Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Drinking bleach

few bottle of bleach left on shelves in super market

There are some people who believe drinking bleach can cure the coronavirus—enough people that the FDA warned U.S. citizens against the practice in an official statement.

According to the FDA: "Drinking any of these chlorine dioxide product can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration. Some product labels claim that vomiting and diarrhea are common after ingesting the product. They even maintain that such reactions are evidence that the product is working. That claim is false." And for more dangerous tips to avoid, check out 9 Terrible Health Tips to Ignore Right Now, According to Experts.

Drinking colloidal silver

closeup of dropper bottle with liquid inside

This rumored cure dates back to February, when natural health expert Sherrill Sellman appeared on televangelist Jim Bakker's show and claimed that colloidal silver—which consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid—can kill bacteria and viruses within 12 hours. Though Sellman admitted it hadn't been tested on COVID-19 yet, the alleged "cure" caught on.

But in truth, "colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health," according to the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). As a result, in March, the state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker and his production company for advertising colloidal silver as a cure for the coronavirus. And for more information on an actual promising cure, check out 5 Facts We Know About Remdesivir, the Possible Coronavirus Cure.

Blowing a hairdryer up your nose

hair dryer on gray background

As silly as it may sound, some believe that aiming a hairdryer up your nose will cure you of COVID-19. In fact, Florida politician Bryant Culpepper went so far as to publicly promote this "cure" that he saw "one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus" reveal on cable TV. The misguided belief is that the hot air travels up into your nostrils and kills the contagion. But, as you likely already assumed, this cure doesn't hold any water.

Drinking water

black woman sitting at table on laptop drinking water

Drinking lots of water through the course of the day is good for you, but it won't cure the coronavirus. Yet, a frequently shared message on social media in March cited an unnamed Japanese doctor saying that drinking water every 15 minutes would wash the coronavirus down the esophagus so it can't get into your lungs.

Of course, that simply isn't true. Professor Trudie Lang of the University of Oxford told the BBC that there is "no biological mechanism" that allows the body to wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach. So while it's always good to hydrate, don't think water can wash away the COVID-19 contagion. And for better ways to stay healthy amid the pandemic, check out 23 Easy Ways You Can Be a Healthier Person During Quarantine.

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