Will drinking an ancient Chinese concoction beat back the deadly coronavirus?  The Chinese government seems to think so.

Chinese state news outlet Xinhua told citizens Friday the infected could drink a liquid called Shuanghuanglian to relieve symptoms and “inhibit” the virus, CNN reported.

The report, citing findings from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, prompted lines to form outside pharmacies as folks scrambled to get their hands on the liquid, according to photos on social media.

But the government was forced to walk back their push of the unproven herbal medicine in the wake of increasing public skepticism, with the People’s Daily warning early Saturday that “inhibiting does not equal preventing and treating,” CNN said.

Despite the popularity of Shuanghuanglian for respiratory ailments, there is little scientific evidence that Chinese traditional medicine can be used to cure coronavirus.

Many Chinese netizens and medical experts publicly wondered if the report was intended to spur a shopping spree for the supplement in advance of the Chinese stock market opening on Monday.

So far, a least 259 people have died and thousands more have been sickened by the mysterious coronavirus. Apple, Starbucks, and McDonald’s have halted or severely curtailed operations in China.