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29th Jun 2021

Doctors issue warning after garlic clove hay fever trick goes viral on TikTok

Sarah McKenna Barry

As tempting as it looks, the trick could do some serious damage.

Doctors have warned against a TikTok trend which involves putting garlic cloves in your nostrils in an attempt to relieve hay fever symptoms.

Irish content creator Lauren Whelan is one of the many TikTok users to try out the ‘hack’. Her video sees her put a clove of garlic in each nostril and wait several minutes before taking them out. When she removes them, a generous amount of fluid runs out of her nose.

Many doctors, however, are warning that the trick could cause irritation. Additionally, there is a chance that the cloves could become stuck.

Neil Bhattacharrya M.D. told Shape that putting garlic up your nose could lead to dermatitis – a skin condition that causes itchy skin, a rash, and, in some cases, blisters.

Dr Bhattacharrya said: “If you do this enough, the body will start to react to the oils and chemicals in the garlic and cause contact dermatitis in the skin.”

Additionally, the trick doesn’t actually clear your sinuses. The fluid that pours out is a reaction to the irritation, rather than your sinuses clearing.

The doctor explained: “Garlic has a strong smell and, when it starts to irritate the nose, you’ll definitely have some mucus drainage. You may feel like, ‘Wow, something is mobilizing,’ but in reality you’re just reacting to the compound.”

Another doctor advised against the trick due to the danger of the cloves getting stuck or causing further congestion.

Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy and Asthma Network told Shape: “I would not put full garlic cloves or pieces in your nose, as it can get stuck and exacerbate blockage and congestion.”

Instead of garlic cloves, doctors recommend using medically approved, over-the-counter treatments to soothe hay fever symptoms.


Hay Fever,TikTok