Fact Check: Ragweed Does NOT Cure Cancer


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Fact Check: Ragweed Does NOT Cure Cancer Toxic

Is Ambrosia artemisiifolia, a.k.a Ragweed, a jolly joker plant that cures every illness, including cancer? No, that's not true: Scientific research proved that the plant itself is toxic, and the usage of ragweed in food products is banned in Hungary. It has been included in the list of plants not recommended for food products by the Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition. It is classified under the banned category due to its cytotoxic properties, which can cause cell destruction.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) uploaded by MAG Család on June 2, 2023.

This is the jolly joker, we can say that it's good for everything. It cures cancer, renewes cells, it's good for digestion issues.

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


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Jul 6 15:55:51 2023 UTC)

Professors at the University of Szeged, Faculty of Pharmacy, are researching the health benefits of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (ragweed in English and parlagfű in Hungarian). They say that the medicine industry uses the extract of ragweed's pollen to produce drops or pills which cure pollen allergies.

Dr. Dezső Csupor highlighted that people recently started using ragweed as a herb, using the plant itself and not the pollen. According to the researcher, the benefits and the safety of eating ragweed are not scientifically proven. On the contrary: In 2017, a group of researchers from the University of Szeged experimented with the long-term effects of ragweed consumption with rats. They found that the ragweed significantly affected the rat's body weight, liver weight, and brain weight. The conclusion of their study is that:

The repeated use of ragweed resulted in toxic effects in rats and these results question the safety of long-term human consumption of common ragweed.

The European Medicine Agency authorized medical products using ragweed, but only to cure allergies.


International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

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