Doctors slam TikTok's misleading garlic trend: 'That's enough'

·2-min read

Recently, a garlic trend has cropped up on TikTok where users are putting cloves of garlic up their noses to allegedly unblock their sinuses — and doctors are not happy.

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While TikTok hosts many helpful hacks, taking medical advice from the platform is not advised. Previously, TikTok users were shaving down their teeth with nail files and building prosthetic teeth out of InstaMorph beads — both of which were condemned by doctors.

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In this case, user @rozalinekatherine uploaded a video claiming that she’d seen another TikTok about putting garlic up your nose to relieve sinus congestion and pain.

She said she left the cloves in her nose for about 10 to 15 minutes and then filmed herself taking them out. Next, she posted the aftermath to further prove it worked by showing snot coming out of her nose.

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“I’m shook lol,” she captioned the video, which has since accumulated over 4.5 million views.

The comment section seemed split between being grossed out and hopeful that this was an actual remedy for stuffy noses.

“That’s enough TikTok for today,” one person wrote.

“It’s going to irritate it,” another added. “Just cut it up and keep it next to your pillow.”

“Does this actually work?” someone asked. “I have really bad hayfever.” 

According to doctors, it’s not safe at all to put garlic up your nose. Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, who is an ear, nose and throat doctor, told Shape that it’s not at all worth trying out yourself.

“If you do this enough, the body will start to react to the oils and chemicals in the garlic and cause contact dermatitis in the nose,” he told Shape. “Some garlic cloves are really strong, and if you get enough leaching of the chemicals and oils into your nose, it will definitely irritate it.”

There’s also the concern that you might get the garlic stuck in your nose.

“Garlic has a strong smell, and when it starts to irritate the nose, you’ll definitely have some mucus drainage,” Dr. Bhattacharyya added. “You may feel like, ‘Wow, something is mobilizing,’ but in reality, you’re just reacting to the compound.”

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