New Delhi, December 08 (ANI): Garlic and chilli, which are traditionally thought to keep flu at bay, are ineffective against A/H1N1 influenza, experts have claimed.
The price of garlic in China has increased by more than 500 percent this winter.
Seemingly, the public is buying more because of the fear of the spread of the deadly virus.
However, Wu Jiang, head of the immunity division under the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has tried to break the myth.
Wu said during a live web cast on Qianlong.com, the municipal government-run news portal: "There is no scientific proof that either garlic or chili is effective against the flu."
He added: "The two ingredients may work for people to improve their digestive functions and stay healthy, but they are definitely not useful for curing the flu."
Garlic has been currently priced at 7.40 yuan per 500 g at the Xinfadi market, the largest vegetable market in Beijing, reports the China Daily.
The rate is excessively high as it cost less than 1 yuan per 500 g before the H1N1 outbreak.
Liu Tong, head of Xinfadi's market department, insisted the price would soon drop, the Beijing Times reported.
She said: "It is pure rumor that red pepper farmers and sellers are stocking up on the ingredient and waiting for the prices to soar like garlic.
"The price is rising because it needs to recover from a major drop earlier this year amid the economic slowdown."
"Pet owners should pay attention when playing with them. I would suggest people not to kiss their puppies during this particular period," Wu said during the web cast.
Liu further revealed that 2.16 million people in Beijing had received H1N1 vaccinations.
However, Deng Xiaohong, vice-director and spokeswoman of the Beijing municipal bureau of health, has warned flu victims is expected to peak during the upcoming New Year holiday. (ANI)