No basis: Experts on lime, menthol candy as cure for cough and cold

·2-min read
Lime and menthol candy home remedy. (Source: Christine Joy Rubang/Facebook)
Lime and menthol candy home remedy. (Source: Christine Joy Rubang/Facebook)

Health experts have said that there is no scientific basis to back the efficacy claim of the mixture of calamansi (lime), menthol candy, and hot water as a sure way to remove cough and cold.

As reported by VERA Files on Wednesday (Jan 19), posts for the “effective home remedy” against cough and common cold has been circulating on Facebook, even as early as September 2020. One Facebook post by a certain Christine Rubang on July 22 has been shared 136,000 times. A similar post appears here.

(Source: Christine Joy Rubang/Facebook)
(Source: Christine Joy Rubang/Facebook)

Dr. Francis Vicente Ras, head of the social advocacy and training division of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care, said that they are not aware of any study conducted that the mixture is effective for symptoms of cough and the common cold.

However, he said that calamansi may strengthen the immune system as it is rich in vitamin C and other minerals. He added that people who have these symptoms might be taking other remedies alongside the mixture and are just associating their recovery with the online recipe.

Dr. Cecilia Maramba-Lazarte, director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine under the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines Manila, said she would not recommend the circulating online remedy because of its high sugar content.

“I would recommend lagundi (five-leaved chaste tree) more than this concoction for cough and colds and mild COVID,” she said, adding that local researchers developed it to address cough and asthma and investigated it for use against COVID-19.

The online recipe gained attention amid the recent surge in COVID-19 infections. Dr. Maramba-Lazarte said that people may be inclined to try remedies that they see on social media in hopes of looking for a quick fix amid the current pandemic.

She noted that there is so much misinformation on social media and it is difficult for some people to discern which is true and which is not true.

According to VERA Files’ report, the recipe has been published by several Facebook accounts, including the pages Aksyon Partido, Even Demata, Hook PH Surprise, Isko Moreno Supporters, Negros Oriental Philippines, SHUTA, and has collectively garnered more than 36,000 reactions, 26,000 comments, and 236,000 shares.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. The views expressed are her own.

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