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Onions, bitter leaf and honey mix won’t cure type 1 and 2 diabetes

A message posted on Facebook in Nigeria claims a mixture of onions, bitter leaf and honey will cure type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

It gives instructions on how to grind “6 bulbs of onions”, mixing the onions with a “handful size of bitter leaf”, or the herb Vernonia amygdalina, and then adding honey to the concoction. 

The post suggests taking two tablespoons of the mixture morning, noon and night for two weeks, and that it is an “100% cure”. 

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, the organ responsible for making insulin in the body, produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone the body needs to use up or store sugar and fat.

In type 2 diabetes, often referred to as insulin resistance, the body’s cells don’t respond to or don’t effectively use the insulin the pancreas produces. 

Could a simple homemade mixture cure both types of diabetes?



Diabetes has no cure – but can be managed

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, type 2 diabetes is most common in people over 45 years old, but more children, teens and young adults are also developing the disease.

Some of the risk factors for type 1 and 2 diabetes include family history, age, genetics, excess body fat and less physical activity, according to the World Health Organization. 

Africa Check asked Aihanuwa Eregie, a professor of medicine and endocrinology at the University of Benin in southwestern Nigeria, about the claim.

“At this point in time there is no cure for diabetes, we can only manage the condition. There is dietary management, which entails a balanced diet, and exercise as advised by a doctor. We also have a whole range of medications, both tablets and injectables, used to control the blood sugar and these are determined by the type of diabetes the person has,” Eregie said.

Eregie said that the many unproven claims about supplements and mixtures curing diabetes could lead to patients no longer taking anti-diabetic medications and returning to hospital with serious complications.

Africa Check has previously debunked other false claims of mixtures meant to treat diabetes. Like those, a mixture of raw onion, bitter leaf and honey is also not a cure for either type 1 or 2 diabetes. 

A simple blood test will tell you if you have diabetes and what type, and experts advise that you check your blood sugar level regularly.

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