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Claim ginger, garlic, relieve sore throat and cough, partly true

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Claim: A Facebook user claimed that consuming a mixture of onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, and lime for one week is a remedy for sore throat, cough and belching.  

Claim ginger, garlic, relieve sore throat and cough, partly true

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Natural Remedy Home, a Facebook blogger recently claimed in a video that consuming a mixture of onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick and lime for one week will help fight sore throat, cough and belching. The user prescribed the dosage for adults as one full glass of the mixture and half a glass of the mixture for children.

“This mixture dey work for both adult and children, the difference na the dosage wey adult go take. Wetin we go thing wey we go use so, the first one na onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick and lime. You go cut them with the back, put them inside pot, and boil for 15 minutes. As an adult, you go drink full glass of this mixture morning and evening for one week and if na pikin from two years, you go give am half glass. You go give am morning and evening. You go see say all these things wey dey do you go stop,” her statements partly reads.

The viral post was made on April 6, 2024, and has 1,800 views, 72 likes, and six comments. Believing the information put out, Ayibatonbre Benneth, a user asked if the claimant could also proffer solutions to blocked fallopian tubes. 

She wrote, “Good evening. I have been following you up on your remedy, and I really like it. So, can someone with a fallopian tube block still be pregnant?” 

Another user, Olaitan Abosade, without questioning, requested the claimant’s contact details, saying, “Please, I need your number, ma, pls. I beg you.” 

Considering the trust her followers have in the remedy and its likely implications on public health, DUBAWA sought to conduct this fact check.


A sore throat is a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling in the throat. Symptoms vary depending on the cause and may hurt more when one swallows or talks. Common causes of sore throats may include a common cold or a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract.

Related to sore throat is cough, a reflex reaction to keep one’s airway clear. It might be due to respiratory infections or conditions like asthma. Other medical conditions that can cause acute and subacute cough include cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, and acute second or third-hand smoke exposure.

Belching, however, is the body’s way of pushing out excess air from the upper digestive tract. This air often never reaches the stomach, instead, it builds up in the oesophagus. Most belching is caused by swallowing excess air, eating or drinking too quickly, smoking or talking while eating.

A recently updated article by Mia Armstrong, an American-certified paediatrician, posited that even though there is no proven cure for cold or flu, “a bowl of chicken soup or a cup of hot ginger tea with honey can help manage the symptoms.”

Dr Armstrong confirmed that ginger has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that ease sore throat, reduce muscle pain and manage nausea. 

Multiple reports also attested that garlic contains allicin, an antimicrobial compound which is therapeutic. Therefore, adding garlic to one’s diet might reduce the severity of cold symptoms.

In another article by Everyday Health, a health blog, people testified that the strong vapour an onion emits when cut helps relieve cough. However, there was no scientific evidence to back this claim.

Experts’ opinion 

When interviewed, Dr Babagana Modu, a registrar at the National Hospital, explained that as a child, he experienced relief from taking a ginger and onion mixture for cough and sore throat. He stated, however, that there might be underlying issues causing these ailments, which should be the major concern.

“I experienced symptomatic relief from a common cold using just ginger and onion mixture as a child when I was with my grandparents, not really sure how that happened. But now my concern is the disregard for what is causing the cough, because it’s a wide spectrum from something trivial to something very serious,” he said. 

Another medical practitioner at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Johnson Udodi, said that the claim on the Facebook video that drinking the extract made from boiling onions, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon to treat sore throat, cough and belching is misleading. He explained that while cough and sore throat could be signs of inhaling an irritant gas, dust, or other substance, they can also indicate the presence of a severe disease that needs medication attention. 

On belching, he said that the spicy ingredients listed in the post may aid motility and improve digestion, thereby reducing flatulence. 

“However, claiming it as a treatment for cough and sore throat, as contained in the post, is incorrect. The post could cause impressionable individuals desperate for a solution to a health problem to erroneously believe that it is a cure for what may be a severe underlying disease,” he concluded.


Although garlic, onions, and ginger have properties that can relieve symptoms of sore throat, cough, and belching, medical experts have confirmed that these conditions may indicate underlying health problems. People are, therefore, advised to seek medical attention when experiencing any of these symptoms.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Karikari Fellowship, in partnership with Premium Times/UNILAG, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

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