The garlic snot trend is pretty gnarly…and pretty unsafe.
Dr. Farmer said that while garlic does have several health benefits, putting large cloves in your nose to clear congestion is not one of them. “It can lead to inflammation and irritation of the mucous membrane lining in the nose and sinuses. Also, the garlic cloves may slip too far into the nostrils, causing them to get lodged in the sinuses.”
So, what exactly happens when you put garlic up your nose, because clearly snot does come out? Dr. Farmer said that the garlic is actually blocking the sinus passage — not clearing it — and your body will produce MORE snot as a reaction to the garlic. “Oils from the garlic are an irritant and worsen congestion and drainage. Inserting garlic into the nostrils causes the nose and sinuses to be temporarily blocked. The nose and sinuses react naturally to blockage and irritants by producing more mucus as a protective reaction,” she explained.
So, what are some safe ways to clear your sinuses? Dr. Farmer said that both over-the-counter and non-medicated remedies can work well.
So, when it comes to getting medical advice on TikTok, Dr. Farmer said that one of the most important things to consider is the source of the information. “There are some amazing medical professionals sharing information that has helped many people. But there is also information being shared that is not based on clinical practice standards, factual medical knowledge, or scientific studies. I suggest users do some research and more importantly, consult with their own physician before acting on any TikTok trend,” she said.
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