Doctors are warning against ‘dangerous’ claims made by influencers on TikTok that raw potato juice has the power to cure strep throat.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that caused public health scares in the UK and US this winter after a deadly resurgence.
The bug can be fatal for children and older adults if left untreated.
But videos that have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok endorsed the idea that raw juiced potato can treat Strep A.
Doctors warned that promoting this idea was ‘dangerous’ because there is ‘no substantial evidence potatoes treats strep throat’.
Blogger and author Allie Casazza claimed to her 12,200 TikTok followers that she had cured her 14-year-old daughter’s ‘super bad Strep’ homeopathically
Another TikTok user offered advice on which varieties of potatoes were best to use depending on if you lived in the US or UK
Not taking antibiotics allows the bacteria to spread to other parts of the body and can cause a range of complications including acute rheumatic fever and scarlet fever.
Blogger and author Allie Casazza claimed to her 12,200 followers on TikTok that she had cured her 14-year-old daughter’s ‘super bad Strep’ homeopathically.
The video reached hundreds of thousands of views before it was deleted.
WHAT IS POTATO JUICE?
Potato juice is simply the juice from raw potatoes.
It can be made by putting a potato through a juicer, or simply grating it and catching the juice.
She gave her daughter a juiced potato to drink and claimed the infection was ‘completely gone within two hours’.
‘If you juice a potato and drink the juice, it kills strep right away,’ she said.
Another video on Tiktok even suggested which varieties of potatoes were best to use depending on if you lived in the US or UK.
But nurses, doctors, and pediatricians jumped to correct the claims, pointing out that Ms Casazza’s daughter’s infection could have gone away on its own.
Dr Iddy Mughal, known as Dr Idz on TikTok, said it was ‘one of the most dangerous videos’ he had ever been sent.
He warned in a video: ‘Do not treat your child with potato juice if they have severe throat symptoms.
‘If a potato juice seems to ease the sore throat, symptom relief does not mean the bacterial infection is dead.
‘If your child has strep throat, get it treated quickly and properly.’
There may be some health benefits to drinking potato juice. The vegetable is rich in fiber, vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium, iron and copper
But potato juice does not have the power to rival the proper treatment for Strep A — antibiotics
Strep A symptoms include rashes and sores around the body, flushed cheeks, a sore throat, muscle aches and fever. It is a relatively mild illness that does not cause many pediatric deaths each year
Dr Zachary Rubin, a pediatrician practicing in Chicago, added: ‘There’s no substantial evidence potatoes treats strep throat. Antibiotics treat strep throat.’
There may be some wider health benefits to drinking potato juice, though.
The vegetable is rich in fiber, vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium, iron and copper.
But potato juice does not have the power to rival the proper treatment for Strep A — antibiotics.
Strep A or strep throat is caused by the Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is a relatively common childhood infection.
Roughly 30 percent of children with a sore throat have the highly contagious illness.
While the vast majority of Strep A infections are relatively mild, sometimes the bug can lead to the potentially life-threatening rheumatic fever if it is untreated.
Registered nurse Allie said on TikTok that ‘any delay in care because you’re drinking potato juice can cause lifelong damage’.
The bacteria can, in exceptionally rare cases, cause a deadly illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was investigating an increase in iGAS infections in the US.
The wave of cases came in September through to November, earlier than it usually would.
One of the leading theories for the outbreak was that lockdowns, mask mandates and social curbs robbed children of exposure to vital germs that protect against the bacterial infection.
Americans may be particularly vulnerable to a Strep A crisis because of an ongoing national shortage of the frontline antibiotic amoxicillin.
Every year about 1,500 to 2,000 Americans die from Strep A, mostly older adults.