Erm, People On TikTok Are Putting Garlic Cloves Up Their Noses To Clear Congestion

·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty/siuwupeepoo
Photo credit: Getty/siuwupeepoo

TikTok is a wonderful place for discovering life hacks.

Hacks like how to shred chicken in mere minutes, the best way to keep chilled food fresh and, of course, how to make Baked Feta Pasta.

But there are some life hacks doing the rounds on TikTok that you might want to steer clear of, including this one involving garlic cloves.

A fair few people on TikTok have been putting garlic cloves up their nostrils, because they say it helps clear congestion.

WARNING! These videos are pretty gross.

The videos show people putting peeled garlic cloves up their nostrils and leaving them for 20-30 minutes. Then, when they come out, their noses stream, which they believe is helping with congestion.

But we spoke to a doctor to find out if this is actually good for you or not. Here’s what Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy had to say about it:

"I think as usual this is people taking some basic health information and going too far. Yes, it’s true that garlic has some antibacterial properties, which means it may be useful to treat a variety of common ailments. In one study, those who took garlic supplements for three months had less colds than those who did not. But this is not the same as actively treating a stuffy nose or blocked sinuses. Garlic is not a decongestant, and in fact may just irritate the lining of the nose and airways and make symptoms worse.

"It’s never a good idea to stick objects up your nose. There is the potential for these to get lodged in the back of the throat, or even obstruct the windpipe which could be very serious. Sometimes objects have to be removed surgically from all different body orifices.

"Garlic allergy is rare but can be serious and have very unpleasant symptoms which include nasal itching, and sneezing. As a food allergy, it can cause abdominal pain, cramping and diarrhoea. Anaphylaxis is rare but if it does occur, this is a medical emergency.

"If you want to treat nasal congestion, try a steam inhalation, perhaps with some menthol (like Vicks). This is far more likely to give symptomatic relief."

So, there you have it – please stop putting garlic up your noses, guys.

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