Fact Check: Onion Peel Water Does NOT Cure Or Alleviate UTIs, Prostatitis Or Other Infections

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Onion Peel Water Does NOT Cure Or Alleviate UTIs, Prostatitis Or Other Infections Does Not Treat

Does onion peel water cure or alleviate urinary tract infections, prostatitis or other infections? No, that's not true: A medical expert told Lead Stories there is no scientific evidence that a tea made from the outer skins of onions does any good for recurrent urinary tract infections, prostatitis or any sort of inflammatory condition. They warned that using onion peel tea and not seeing a doctor could cause harm.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on Facebook on November 27, 2023. The video -- which appears to be AI-generated -- begins with a man wearing a white jacket to look like a doctor. As an audio track narrates, text scrolls across the screen as the man says:

Do you suffer from urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation, prostate burning during urination, colic or kidney pain?

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-11-28 at 1.21.05 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Nov 28 21:03:51 2023 UTC)

The video claims a recipe of peels from four onions soaked in water and a tablespoon of baking soda for five minutes, then strained and boiled for five to seven minutes produces a tea that will alleviate the pain from the infections. According to the video:

If you prefer, consume 100 milliliters three times a day for five days. In a matter of minutes you will feel significant relief.

"There's no scientific evidence that a tea made from onions has any benefit on recurrent urinary tract infections, prostatitis or any sort of inflammatory condition," urologist Rena Malik (archived here) of Newport Beach, California, whose expertise is in urogynecology and reconstructive surgery, told Lead Stories via phone on November 28, 2023.

Malik, who is a member of the American Urology Association and is certified by the American Board of Urologists, explained that "urinary tract infections are really only cured with antibiotics." She said while there are people whose immune systems will cure them on their own, "if your body itself doesn't clear it, there's really no natural remedy that's gonna cure an infection. That's been scientifically proven."

The video claims, "onion peels offer numerous benefits. They treat prostatitis, combat urinary infections and are rich in vitamins that are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties."

Malik told Lead Stories there is "no data to support that. There are a lot of things that have anti-inflammatory properties that people eat and consume on a regular basis, but they haven't been shown to effectively clear your bladder of bacteria."

She warned that if people are experiencing pain as described in the video, it is best to see a doctor for treatment. "There's a whole bunch of other things that could be happening. But really, the important thing is to find out what's causing the symptoms of bladder inflammation; you could be missing bladder cancer. So, actually treating people with onion tea and not seeing a doctor could actually cause harm."

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases addresses treatment for urinary tract infections and bladder infections on its website (archived here):

Treatments for bladder infections and other UTIs may include antibiotics and drinking lots of liquids to help flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Changes in habits, hygiene, or birth control method may help prevent another infection.

Other Lead Stories debunks of claims involving purported food cures are here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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