Fact Check: Can consuming milkweed decoction cure tuberculosis?

Here is all you need to know:

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  6 Nov 2023 10:08 AM GMT
Fact Check: Can consuming milkweed decoction cure tuberculosis?

Hyderabad: A Facebook post is being widely circulated on social media with the claim that a decoction of a giant milkweed can cure Tuberculosis.

The post was shared with the caption, “Solution to Tuberculosis. Get single leave of giant milk weed (Ewe Bomubomu) put it inside pot without adding water put the pot on fire, the leave will after it has been boil bring it out, put it inside a cup add little water then pound the leave with ur hand… make it smooth then drink it all… is very good to cure tuberculosis… except is spiritual attack (sic)”

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that the claim is false.

What is tuberculosis?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines tuberculosis as, “An infectious disease that most often affects the lungs and is caused by a type of bacteria. It spreads through the air when infected people cough, sneeze or spit. Tuberculosis is preventable and curable.”

Several symptoms of tuberculosis are prolonged coughing (occasionally with blood), chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs but it can also spread to the kidneys, brain, spine and skin.

With the help of a reverse image search, we identified that the plant that purportedly can cure tuberculosis is Calotropis procera. These are milkweed plants of the Apocynaceae family. Milkweed gets its name from the milky sap contained in its leaves and stems.

A study was performed to evaluate the antimycobacterial activities of Citrullus colocynthis, Calotropis procera, Ricinus communis, Capparis decidua, and Fagonia cretica plant extracts against rifampicin- sensitive (H37Rv) and rifampicin-resistant (TMC331) strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis shows antimycobacterial potential in some of the fractions of studied plants that may be utilised further for isolation of active compounds and as a possible cure against TB.

More research is needed to establish a conclusion.

A further search led us to an article on Cleveland Clinic that warns that if tuberculosis or TB is left untreated or wrongly handled, it can be fatal. TB most often affects your lungs, but can also affect other organs like your brain.

American Lungs Association further states that if a person is infected with TB but does not have active TB disease one should get preventive therapy. It might contain a daily dose of antibiotic isoniazid a single pill a day for 6 to 9 months.

Similarly, if a person is suffering from active tuberculosis disease. It is advised to take a combination of antibacterial medications for a period of 6 to 12 months. The most common treatment for active TB.

“The most common treatment for active TB is isoniazid INH in combination with three other drugs—rifampin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. You may begin to feel better only a few weeks after starting to take the drugs but treating TB takes much longer than other bacterial infections,” it adds.

Since there is medication and treatment available to cure tuberculosis completely. There is no need to believe in such home remedial treatments. The best suggestion is to visit your nearest healthcare provider for the best treatment available.

Claim Review:Consuming milkweed decoction cures tuberculosis.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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