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Bitter Oil Ear Drop Prevents Coronavirus, Iran Islamic Doctor Claims

A traditional apothecary in Tehran. Undated photo.

A physician turned "Islamic doctor" in Iran says dropping bitter gourd oil in ears in the morning before going out will prevent infection with coronavirus (COVID-19). Two more drops at night will even prevent those who have been infected from transmitting it to others, he claims.

Many Iranians believe in traditional medical treatments and Islamic medicine, which under the pressure of the coronavirus epidemic, can lead people to waste time and resources on exotic treatments.

Another "Islamic doctor", a cleric named Abbas Tabrizian who gained notoriety in January for burning Harrison's Manual of Medicine, a standard textbook in Iranian universities, recently prescribed inserting a cotton ball dipped in violet oil in anus before going to sleep to ward off coronavirus.

In a video published on his website, Hossein Ravazadeh, known as "the Father of Islamic Medicine in Iran" says only one drop of bitter watermelon (citrullus colocynthis) oil in each ear will prevent "all obnoxious creatures" from entering the body. "If people already have been infected with coronavirus, it will be helpful to use the ear drop at night, too," he says in the video. Moreover, using the ear drop twice everyday will also prevent contagiousness of the disease, he claims.

In Iran where traditional apothecaries are found in every corner both the dried, apple-sized fruit and its oil are easily available.

Bitter watermelon (also known as bitter gourd, bitter apple, vine of Sodom and bitter cucumber) is a viny desert plant native to the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. The plant bears small hard fruit with a bitter pulp and seeds. Bitter watermelon has been used in traditional medicine in many countries for centuries as a laxative, diuretic or for insect bites. The plant can also induce miscarriages in women.

The son of Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, once named as a possible successor to Khamenei, in December said his father died because he trusted "Islamic medicine" and the so-called "Islamic doctors".

He did not name the "Islamic doctor" responsible for his father's treatment for an undeclared illness. The son of another high-ranking cleric, Ayatollah Haeri-Shirazi, recently disclosed that his late father who was suffering from cancer had taken the advice of Hashemi-Shahroudi and trusted none other than the "Islamic doctor" nowadays prescribing bitter watermelon oil for prevention and treatment of coronavirus.