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VERIFY: Poisonous plant touted by MyPillow CEO is not a 'miracle cure' for COVID-19

Oleandrin has yet to be tested on animals or humans and has not been approved by the FDA.

HOUSTON — The man behind MyPillow, Mike Lindell, went viral again Tuesday on CNN. 

"This is the cure," Lindell said. "This is the miracle to the country. This works." 

Lindell claims oleandrin is a miracle cure for COVID-19.

First let's nail down what oleandrin is. 

It's an extract from oleander, a dangerous poisonous plant that's listed on the Texas Poison Center Network. 

"If you do consume it, it could cause cardiac arrest," said Dr. Stacey Kalovidouris with the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor College of Medicine. 

She says there's no proof this works in humans and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

"There have been no clinical studies to that effect yet," said Kalovidouris. 

We dug up the only study about oleandrin's effects on COVID-19. It's out of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. It has not been peer reviewed. They tested small quantities of oleandrin on a monkey's kidney cells in a test tube. 

It did show promising results. 

Lead researcher Dr. Scott Weaver expressed caution in a statement:

“Any results from initial cell culture experiments do not necessarily predict that an antiviral drug will be effective in humans. The testing of antivirals on cells is only the first step, and promising results must be followed-up with animal testing. There are many drugs like this one that look promising during initial in vitro testing, but then fail later for a variety of reasons.”

Kalovidouris agrees and says more research is needed. 

"More studies need to be done with animals and humans to do our proper diligence and feel that this is truly safe for humans," said Kalovidouris. 

So we can Verify:

Oleandrin is not a miracle cure for COVID-19. 

And experts suggest extreme caution before taking any medication not approved by the FDA.

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