Garlic milk for bubonic plague and COVID-19? How entrenched folk remedies fuel scientific misinformation

Katrine K. Donois Associate Professor Hassan Vally

When London faced the bubonic plague in 1665, many people desperately sought a way to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting sick.

One widely adopted method consisted of mixing two small cloves of garlic in a pint of fresh milk. People believed that drinking this cocktail in the morning, on an empty stomach, would prevent the feared disease.