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TikTok Trend Has Doctors Warning Us Not To Put Garlic Up Our Noses

Much like the internet at large, TikTok has proven to be a mixed bag when it comes to the balance between the benefits and drawbacks of its rise.

On one hand, it's provided some users with a platform to speak on hot button issues and share important stories in an entertaining and digestible way.

But on the other hand, it's also shown that it's no more immune to harmful trends and misinformation than any other corner of the internet.

Although you can never expect what people will convince each other to try, it seems that for whatever reason, TikTok is home to some of the more bizarre trends.

And while those who spread the one we're discussing today likely had good intentions for doing so, that doesn't mean they're anywhere near the right track.

In recent weeks, certain TikTok users have taken to putting pieces of garlic up their nostrils.

As you can see in this video, they've identified garlic as a home remedy for clearing out your sinuses in times of congestion due to the release of mucus they experience after leaving them in for 10 to 15 minutes.

Yeah, if you don't want to see a bunch of snot come out of someone's nose, I wouldn't advise watching this clip.

But while some of those claiming this technique works point to garlic's supposed anti-inflammatory properties, doctors say there isn't strong evidence to support this.

As ear nose and throat doctor Neil Bhattacharyya told Shape, what's actually happening is that the nose is simply reacting to garlic's strong smell.

But while his conclusion is that it won't do anything that you can't already get from a nasal spray or an antihistamine, that's not the only reason why shoving garlic up your nose is a bad idea.

For one thing, it's easier than you might expect for that piece of garlic to get stuck.

As an allergist named Purvi Parikh told Shape, "I would not put full garlic cloves or pieces in your nose, as it can get stuck and exacerbate blockage and congestion."

Another doctor named Omid Mehdizadeh agreed, saying "Not only does it have the potential to rot or cause a nasal obstruction, it can induce an episode of sinusitis." In other words, a sinus infection.

And even if that doesn't happen, there's a strong risk that the oils and chemicals that naturally occur in garlic can irritate the inside of your nose.

Pexels | Gustavo Fring

As Dr. Bhattacharyya explained, these oils can cause a condition called contact dermatitis, in which the affected skin can develop itches, rashes, and even potentially blisters.

Since this trend is supposed to alleviate discomfort, it hardly makes sense to put yourself at risk of even worse discomfort than you started with.

h/t: Shape

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