AFP, published on Friday, September 9, 2022 at 13.40.
A mixture of garlic and milk, a “natural, magical and final” remedy for several respiratory ailments? This is the message conveyed by publications on Facebook since at least 2017. The authors of these messages claim that this mixture cures asthma, pneumonia and tuberculosis in particular. But this prescription is not based on any scientific basis, warn pulmonologists contacted by AFP.“Garlic in Milk: Magic and Definitive Natural Treatment for Asthma, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis“, prescribes a Facebook post dated August 19, 2022. This miracle recipe, which was supposed to cure certain lung diseases, has been shared by a number of publications in French-speaking Africa since at least 2017 (1, 2, 3, 4), and has accumulated hundreds A detailed recipe in an article accompanies some of these messages.
Screenshot of a post on Facebook, made on September 7, 2022 She recommends that patients should “pour the milk and water into a pan and add the chopped garlic”. The author praises the therapeutic benefits of these two ingredients and prescribes heating the mixture and then “stir occasionally, sieve and finally add the sugar.”
ONE means refuted by several specialists in respiratory and lung diseases contacted by AFP.
“It is wrong ! We didn’t do 8 to 12 years of studies to give garlic and milk to patients,” said Dr Hind Hezazi, a pulmonologist at the Cap clinic in Dakar, Senegal, contacted by AFP on September 5, 2022.
“Garlic and milk do not contain any molecule known to be sufficient in quantity to treat these diseases, the outcome of which can be fatal.“, exclaims Dr. Madiha Ellaffi, pulmonologist-allergist practicing in a practice in Albi, in south-west France.
Respiratory diseases can actually be fatal.
The National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) in France, for example, identifies pneumonia as the deadliest respiratory infection. According to November 2021 data from the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the first infectious cause of death in children under 5 years of age. Among other symptoms, it is characterized by acute fever, pain, cough and expectoration.
In his response to AFP on 6 September 2022, Dr mentions Ellaffi in particular that in France, for example, “1,000 people die every year from severe acute asthma attacks, tuberculosis has killed millions of people all over the country. the world” before the development of suitable antibiotics, and kills “still today … the same for pneumonia “.
Means for the treatment of this type of disease are regularly promoted on social networks, often to the detriment of hospital treatment. In particular, the AFP has already confirmed a false claim that plantain water can cure asthma.
“Many of our patients first try cocktails and decoctions before coming for a consultation.“, regrets Dr. Souleymane Dia, pulmonologist at the Dakar International Cancer Center, interviewed on September 6, 2022 by AFP.
“We all see the colors based on mistaken beliefs that are not based on scientific evidence“, confirms Dr. Hind Henzazi.
All of these specialists advise consulting a pulmonary health professional in case of a problem to avoid complications.