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No, placing onions under your feet won’t cure a cold or flu

A Facebook user shared a graphic with a quote claiming onion can cure a cold or flu.

The graphic was posted on 18 November 2021 but had been trending on Facebook since 2015 

It reads: “If you come down with a cold or the flu, Slice a red or white onion into rounds, place them on the bottoms of your feet, and put on a  pair of socks. Leave the socks on overnight as you sleep. In the morning, you’ll wake up cured of your illness.”

Is this true?


‘Claim is false’ – experts

The UK National Health Service says treatment for cold or flu includes getting enough rest and sleep, drinking plenty of water and keeping warm.

Dr Rotimi Adesanya, a family physician, told Africa Check that the claim was false. 

“Medical doctors base all their treatment, procedures on scientific basis. From a medical point of view, such a claim has not been scientifically proven.”

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.

Further Reading

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