Back to Africa Check

No evidence to support claim that mixture of avocado seed and rubbing alcohol can cure joint pain

IN SHORT: Joint pain can make it difficult to do even the simplest tasks. But there is no evidence for viral claims that a combination of avocado seeds and rubbing alcohol can cure joint pain.

Several posts on Facebook claim that a mixture of avocado pit and alcohol can cure joint pain.

One post reads: “Take avocado rather it's ripe or green, cut it in half and take the pit out cut the pit in small pieces put it in the jar you 70% of alcohol covering the pit of the avocado take a cotton ball or whatever rub it on your knees your back wherever you feel joint pain.”

The post claims that the mixture must be applied on the affected area for two weeks and “you will feel the difference”.

Similar posts can be found here, here and here. Most of them feature a video of an avocado pit being chopped up, put in a jar and mixed with what appears to be rubbing alcohol. The video was also sent to us by subscribers on our What’s Crap on WhatsApp? line.

But can a mixture of avocado pit and alcohol cure joint pain? We checked.

Nothing but the facts

Get a weekly dose of facts delivered straight to your inbox.


Benefits of avo seed and rubbing alcohol

Avocado is a green fruit with a brown pit, also known as the seed, in the centre. 

The seed contains “a good range of fatty acids, dietary fibre, carbs and a small amount of protein”, according to medical news site Healthline.

Several test-tube and animal studies have demonstrated the seed’s potential to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and to act as an antibacterial and antioxidant

But more research is needed on the benefits of the seeds for humans. There is also little or no research on the benefits of the topical application of avocado seeds, such as described in the claims on social media.

Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, at a concentration of 70% is often used as a disinfectant. 

When mixed with water, it can also be used as an ice pack to soothe muscle aches and minor injuries.

Not enough evidence to support the claim

Joint pain is characterised by discomfort in parts of the body where bones meet, such as the knees, elbows and back. 

“Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain,” says the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical centre in the US. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints.

Joint pain can also be caused by gout, tendinitis, some viral infections and injuries.

According to Healthline, “there’s no treatment currently available that will completely eliminate the joint pain associated with arthritis”. But the pain can be managed with topical pain relievers, moderate exercise and anti-inflammatory drugs.

There is not enough research on the topical use of avocado seed and rubbing alcohol on humans. Rather seek medical attention if the affected area is swollen and feels hot, if the pain worsens or if you develop a fever.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.