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No evidence garlic treats ear infection or headache

“Garlic helps remove pain in ears, ear infections and headaches quickly and effectively,” claims a message posted on Facebook in Nigeria.

It adds: “Simply, put a cleaned garlic clove in your ear - it fits perfectly in ear, as an earplugs until feel relief!”

The message includes a graphic showing how a garlic clove should be inserted in the ear. 

Garlic belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to the onion, scallion, chive, leek, and shallot. It has long been used both to flavour food and for its therapeutic benefits. But does garlic treat ear pain and infection, and heachache?

‘Why put garlic in your ear?’

“I advise people to ignore the claim,” Samuel Adoga, a professor of ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery at Nigeria’s University of Jos, told Africa Check. 

“There is no scientific proof to support the claim. I would not encourage anyone to try it out. There are prescribed drugs for ear pain or infection not garlic. The claim is false. Visit a doctor or an ear, nose and throat surgeon if you have any challenge with your ears.”

Duru Francis, a professor of anatomy at the University of Lagos college of medicine, agreed there was no evidence for the claim.

“Of course, such a claim is wrong.  Why would you put garlic in your ear? People should simply ignore the claim. There is no scientific evidence.”Motunrayo Joel


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