By: Rahul Adhikari
September 22 2023
Screenshot of the viral video that claims a honey lemon 'flu bomb' can cure any respiratory disease, including COVID-19. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
The viral video featuring Barbara O'Neil promoting a 'flu bomb' as a cure for respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, makes false claims.
What is the claim?
In a video circulating on social media, alternative medicine practitioner Barbara O’Neil claims that a "flu bomb" made with garlic, ginger, eucalyptus oil, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and honey can cure any respiratory disease, including COVID-19 when taken three times a day. The video has gained over 18,000 views and 891 likes. An archived version of the post can be found here.
Screenshot of the viral video on Facebook. (Source: Facebook)
However, the claim is false. There is no evidence that a "flu bomb" can cure any respiratory disease, including COVID-19.
What did we find?
Since the start of the pandemic, numerous claims about cures for COVID-19 have spread on social media. Fact-checking organizations and government health bodies have clarified that no home remedies can cure or prevent COVID-19. Similar narratives that garlic, lemon, and turmeric can prevent COVID-19 have been debunked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the WHO, as coronavirus continues to spread and evolve, vaccines protect against COVID-19, reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging, and help our bodies develop immunity to the virus without contracting the illness.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined procedures for what to do if someone becomes infected with the coronavirus and the necessary medical steps that should be taken. According to the CDC, flu often results in mild illness that does not require medical care or antiviral drugs. In some cases, doctors prescribe antiviral medications to help reduce the severity of the illness and shorten the duration of sickness.
What experts said
Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi, told Logically Facts, “There are no scientific studies that state that such home remedies work to prevent respiratory diseases like flu and COVID-19. Those who are spreading this information are disseminating false information. Not even a single study has examined the effectiveness of the mixture of these six ingredients. In most cases, normal flu and cold don't require medication, as they often resolve on their own. However, there are medicines that can help prevent them." Dr. Chatterjee added, "Garlic, ginger, and lemon juice may have their own health benefits, but they are not a cure. As far as COVID-19 is concerned, the only effective and recommended way is to take vaccines.”
Dr. Partha Sarathi Das, General Physician at Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal similarly said, "Home remedies like these don't prevent or cure cold, flu, or COVID-19. We don't prescribe medicine to patients with mild flu and cold, as they typically resolve on their own. To my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence or study that supports these claims. COVID-19 is not something that is ‘cured’. Vaccines enhance immunity, which helps our body to fight against the virus."
Who is Barbara O’Neil?
Logically Facts has previously debunked several health-related false claims made by Barbara O’Neil. In 2019, the Health Care Complaints Commission of New South Wales, Australia, issued a public statement in 2019 clarifying that O'Neill is an "unregistered practitioner." The commission found that O'Neill posed a risk to the health and safety of members of the public and permanently prohibited her from providing any health services.
There is no evidence to support O'Neill's claims that a "flu bomb" can cure respiratory diseases including COVID-19, and reputable health organizations have debunked similar narratives. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.