Study Reveals Why You Can't Trust Lemon Juice To Repel COVID-19

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of different, questionable "home remedies" have been flying around the internet that purport to cure the virus (via USA Today). While there are many things we can do to help prevent ourselves from contracting the coronavirus and decrease its severity, like getting vaccinated, reducing contact with others, or wearing a mask, there are no ways to outright cure COVID-19.

The CDC recommends the aforementioned strategies, as well as washing your hands often, getting tested frequently, avoiding crowds, physically distancing, and increasing cleaning practices as reliable ways to help decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19. And despite the other things we can do to help maintain our immune system at home, like getting adequate sleep, exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, and staying up to date on vaccines, according to Harvard Health Publishing, there's no quick fix.

While it might be alluring in such a stressful time to try remedies from social media or other places on the internet, beware, as best case scenario they will do nothing, but worst case scenario, they can be very dangerous and possibly deadly (via Everyday Health). Remember to stick to reputable sources like the CDC or the FDA when looking for things that are — or, more importantly, are not — safe to use.

Lemon juice can't kill COVID-19

The newest entry in a string of internet theories on how to repel COVID-19 is to drink or gargle lemon juice. According to Cleveland Clinic, the thinking is that the virus can't survive in acidic environments, so ingesting lemon juice will raise the acidity of your body and thus make it inhospitable to viral particles. Or, that when gargling lemon juice, the virus won't be able to survive in the low pH, acidic environment. Unfortunately, this logic is deeply flawed.

The pH scale is a 14-point scale that measures how acidic or basic a substance is, with one being most acidic and 14 being most basic. Both extremes on this scale can be potentially very dangerous; for example, battery acid and stomach acid fall in the 0-1 range while bleach and drain cleaner fall in the 13-14 range, according to Science Notes. Lemon juice clocks in at around three, so it's a pretty acidic ingredient, reports Healthline. Some other viruses are unable to survive in such acidic environments, though according to a study published in The Lancet Microbe, COVID-19 isn't one of them. Moreover, simply drinking lemon juice doesn't decrease the body's pH (via Healthline). You'd be much better off seeking out a COVID-19 vaccine and booster to help your body fight the virus.