Recently, there’s been a new TikTok trend going around where people are putting raw garlic cloves into their noses for 10-15 minutes in order to clear out congestion in their sinuses. After leaving it in their nose for the recommended amount of time, users show the crazy amounts of mucus they are left with. As uninviting as these videos sound, it has piqued the interest of millions of users. However, like all trends and hacks you see popping up on the app, it is always best to do your research and use your discretion before trying them out on yourself at home.

The TikToks

@hwannah5****warning: Snot*** This is not dangerous. the garlic just clean your sinuses out. #comedy #safe #fyp #garlicinnose #shaquilleoneal @jdean40♬ original sound – hwannah5


Source: hwannah5/TikTok

With over 4.8 million views, this viral video shows two TikTokers who have decided to try out this hack for themselves. After leaving the raw garlic cloves in their nostrils for a couple of minutes, they are shocked with the results. Large amounts of mucus immediately begin to outpour out of their noses. Although they didn’t mention whether the garlic improved their breathing, this video still sparked the interest of many others on the app who were eager to try it out as well.

The Science

It turns out that this garlic hack can actually make your congestion worse than before you started. Not only can it potentially worsen the quality of your breathing, but it can also make your nose runnier than before and cause infection and irritation in the nasal area. When you block your nose with something, especially with such strong-smelling food as garlic, it causes a vasoconstrictive effect, opening your nasal passages and causing irritation within the nose. Following this, your body’s natural response is mucus drainage. Allicin as well as other compounds found within garlic have been shown to contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. However, researchers claim there’s not enough evidence to support sticking entire cloves up your nose to help with congestion. So while it may seem like you are ridding your nose of all the unwanted stuff with an easy 10-minute hack, you may actually be worsening the problem. As with all TikTok hacks, make sure to do your research beforehand.

Dangers of This Trend

@drwhitneybowe#duet with @nanafizmo #thatboweglow #garlic #dermatologist #garlicinnose #learnwithme #doctorsoftiktok♬ Whatta Man (feat. En Vogue) [EP Version] – Salt ‘N’ Pepa


Source: drwhitneybowe/TikTok

Dr. Whitney Bowe brings a professional perspective to this viral decongestion hack. She doesn’t believe this trend is safe. She explains that while the garlic is left in the nose for approximately 10-15 minutes, the garlic is actually triggering something called contact dermatitis. As a result, when the garlic is then removed from the nose, users are surprised to see a large outpour of mucus secretions from their nostrils. Dr. Bowe explains that this abnormal amount of mucus is a result of your mucosa trying to protect itself. The reason why this trend isn’t safe is that this response is creating more swelling and even making your breathing more over time.


The Takeaway…

Although this hack may offer temporary relief and satisfaction, you may actually be doing more harm than good to your sinuses. Instead of trying these TikTok hacks that just don’t have the scientific research to back them up, here’s a list of foods you can eat that will help fight nasal congestion the safe way:

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