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Fact Check: Do not use garlic to reduce ear pain and headache; viral post is misleading

Vishvas News team, after investigation, found the viral claim to be false. Putting a clove of garlic in the ear can be dangerous. Doctors have advised not to use this remedy.

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: December 22, 2022

New Delhi (Vishvas News): A post regarding the treatment of ear pain and headache is going viral on social media in which it is being claimed that putting garlic in the ear cures ear pain, ear infection and headache quickly. Vishvas News fact-checked the post and found it to be false. We spoke to experts who have rubbished the viral claim and advised against doing so.

What’s in the viral post?

The post was shared by a Facebook page named “Pointer C Antonio” on December 19. The caption of the viral post reads, “Did you know? Garlic helps to relieve earache, ear infection and headache quickly and effectively. Simply put a clean garlic clove in your ear – it fits snugly in your ear, like an earplug, until you feel relieved.”

Several other users on social media have shared the post with similar claims. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

Investigation:

To investigate the viral claim, we first searched it with keywords. We found complete information on using garlic for ear pain on the website of pristinecare.com. The article published on October 19, 2020, stated that garlic is one of the most commonly used herbs for earache. Garlic or garlic oil extracts have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, which may help prevent infection. The report also suggested using garlic cloves to reduce ear pain.

According to the given information, “A clove of garlic is peeled and one end is cut off, wrapped in a warm cloth and placed over the ear. Make sure that the clove of garlic does not go into your ear. The report also mentioned the side effects of garlic that it produces pungent compounds, which can cause skin irritation.

According to an article published on March 8, 2019, on the US health information website Healthline, “Applying garlic or garlic-based products may pose a risk of skin irritation or chemical burns. Be sure to test this home remedy on a small patch of skin (such as the inner arm) before using it on other parts. If the person using it feels burning or discomfort or notices redness where the oil was applied, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and do not use it. Consult your doctor before using garlic oil or any other remedy in your ear”.

For more information, we contacted Dr Anil Chauhan, ENT specialist at Angoori Devi Clinic, Noida. He termed the viral claim as false. Placing a clove of garlic inside the ear can be dangerous, he said. We also contacted Apollo Hospital ENT specialist Dr Kalpana Nagpal regarding the viral post. She also called the post wrong and also advised not to do so.

We also spoke to Dr Avnish Kumar Singh, Medical Officer Incharge, Khatauli Block, UP, who said that “consuming garlic has many health benefits, but as far as the ear is concerned, it should not be applied directly in the ear. An ENT specialist should be consulted and you should never put anything in your ears because of the risk of making the infection worse”. He also termed the viral claim as false.

Vishvas News also contacted Dr Abhishek Juneja, Senior Consultant Neurologist, at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital and shared the viral claim with him. He said, “if a clove of garlic is put into the ear canal, it can itself cause an infection, which can lead to bigger problems. Do not put garlic clove in the ear, it can be dangerous”.

Regarding the viral claim, Bhopal’s Ayurveda doctor Abrar Multani said, “this claim is false. No one should do this, as it can prove to be quite dangerous. Putting clove of garlic in the ear does not cure ear infection and headache. This claim is false, rather if it gets stuck in your ear canal, you may have to face more problems”.

At the end of the investigation, we did social scanning of the user who shared this post. Scanning revealed that the user is a resident of Georgia in the US and has over 2,000 friends on Facebook.

Conclusion: Vishvas News team, after investigation, found the viral claim to be false. Putting a clove of garlic in the ear can be dangerous. Doctors have advised not to use this remedy.

  • Claim Review : Putting garlic in the ear cures earache, ear infection and headache quickly.
  • Claimed By : B User- Pointer C Antonio
  • Fact Check : False
False
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