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A viral TikTok hack claims to clear up nasal congestion with an herb you likely have in your kitchen. Here’s what experts think about it.

TikTok is no stranger to advice from how to take care of your mental health, to chaotic ideas to get back at your ex. A new hack claims to help ease people’s nasal congestion by sticking a garlic clove up their nose, resulting in viral videos of people doing just that. Aside from the gross factor, is there any truth to these statements?


Nasal congestion dries up your mouth, creates pressure in your head and makes everyday activities like breathing and eating very difficult. Still, sticking a garlic clove up your nostril seems like a pretty extreme course of action, no matter how desperate you are.

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The TikTok videos suggest that peeled garlics are able to clear your nostrils in gross detail. Medical experts say that this isn’t accurate and that it could actually result in medical complications.

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Dr. Anthony Del Signore explained to Self Magazine that the reason why mucus comes out of your nostrils when you place garlic cloves in them is due to your nose responding to an obtrusion there. “You’re not really cleansing the nasal cavity. Essentially what’s happening is it’s causing a caustic irritation in the nasal cavity,” he said. The nostrils grow inflamed and the mucus is the way of coping with the irritation.

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Image by Joseph Mucira via Pixabay

A more concerning issue is the fact that garlic cloves are the perfect shape for an object to get lodged up your nose. A blocked nasal passage could result in difficulty breathing and even an infection. If you’re sick and your system is already dealing with an infection, introducing a garlic clove up your nose might multiply bacteria and makes matters worse.”Bacteria love organic things,” says Dr. Del Signore.

Next time you see a TikTok that recommends something that goes against your base instincts, don’t listen to it. No matter how congested you are, there’s never a good enough reason to put up a garlic clove inside your body.

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