The plant may be used to manage some symptoms, but there is no cure for Covid-19.
A Facebook post claiming that Euphorbia hirta, commonly known as the asthma plant, cures COVID-19 is FALSE.
Euphorbia hirta is a hairy herb that grows in open grasslands, roadsides and pathways, and it is known as the asthma plant because it is commonly used in India as a traditional remedy for treating asthma.
The post, with a link to a newsproof.org article, claims that a group of researchers from Nigeria’s University of Ibadan have discovered that the asthma plant can cure COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
However, in an article posted on its website, the University of Ibadan states that there is no evidence yet that the plant can cure coronavirus disease.
Researchers at the university recommend that Euphorbia hirta can be used as a relief for some of the symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and respiratory issues, but it does not treat the disease.
The University of Ibadan is also exploring the benefits of the asthma plant and similar plants for the cure of chronic flu and other respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
The US National Center for Biotechnology Information published an article saying that the plant has been widely used in the traditional system of medicine in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, pulmonary disorders and wound healing.
The World Health Organization also says that there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 at the moment. The organization, however, adds that many symptoms of the disease can be treated based on the patient’s clinical condition.
PesaCheck has looked into the claim that the asthma plant, also called Euphorbia hirta, cures COVID-19 and finds it to be FALSE.
This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.
By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.
Have you spotted what you think is fake news or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.
This fact-check was written by PesaCheck Fact-Checker James Okong’o and edited by PesaCheck Deputy Editor Enock Nyariki.
The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.
PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.
PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local media and other civic watchdog organisations in 14 African countries.