Does papaya leaf juice cure dengue? This monsoon season, many have reported receiving a viral forward which claims that the leaf juice obtained from the papaya plant is a cure for the mosquito-borne disease. The message doing the rounds on WhatsApp reads, “Papaya leaf juice works wonders. Within 12 hours platelet count increased from 68,000 to 2,00,000. Pl share a message with all your friends. Dengue fever is high in all over India. Pl do share. Save lives.” However, doctors have debunked this claim. They have also demanded that the government take action against those forwarding such fake messages.
Speaking to TNM, Dr. Shanti Ravindranath, Secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality, says that the treatment for dengue is based on science. “Medical research is constantly updated to reflect new progress in medical findings. There is no medical basis to support the claim that papaya leaf juice cures dengue. Even Siddha practitioners haven’t recommended papaya leaf juice for dengue, they have only called for nilavembu kudineer (a herbal concoction).”
In fact, with around six dengue deaths reported in Tamil Nadu this monsoon season, the Tamil Nadu Health Department has recommended anyone experiencing any symptoms of dengue to immediately consult a doctor. Typical symptoms of dengue include high-grade fever, joint pain, and nausea.
Doctors warn that it is extremely dangerous to forward such messages, trying to evoke a false sense of sympathy with phrases such as “forward this if you are an Indian”, “forward this if you are a true Tamilian”, “forward this if you really care”, etc. When it comes to medical news, authenticity could have far-reaching consequences, they say.
Dr. Shanti Ravindranath advises that especially at crucial times such as this, social media needs to be channeled for good. “This (such messages) gives the recipients who believe them a false sense of security. So the government has the responsibility to say these are fake,” she adds. _ Source TNM.