Back to Africa Check

No, lemon and baking soda mix doesn’t cure Covid-19

A message circulating on WhatsApp in Nigeria claims that “lemon and bicarbonate” can cure Covid-19. It says the “information comes from Israel” where “this virus did not cause any death”. 

The message says to mix lemon and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as a “hot tea” to drink every afternoon. “The action of the lemon with hotter baking soda immediately kills the virus, completely eliminates it from the body.” 

It claims the “remedy” is “why the People of Israel is relaxed about this virus”. 

Israel currently has more than 4,800 cases of Covid-19, with 18 deaths.

Similar claims of the lemon and bicarbonate of soda “cure” for coronavirus are doing the rounds on Facebook.

Is there any truth here?

No medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus

“There is no scientific evidence to the claim,” Andrei Muchnik, spokesperson for the World Health Organization, told Africa Check.

Tanimola Akande, professor of public health at the University of Ilorin in western Nigeria, also said the claim was false: “There is no documented scientific backing to this claim.”

Africa Check could also find no mention of bicarbonate of soda, baking soda or lemon juice in the WHO’s latest peer-reviewed scientific findings database on Covid-19. 

The WHO is clear: “There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus”. – Motunrayo Joel

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.