A Doctor Explains Why the Latest TikTok Trend of Sticking Garlic Up Your Nose Is a Terrible Idea

While garlic pairs nicely with foods like bread, pasta, and chicken, a new trend on TikTok has people stuffing full cloves of raw garlic up their nose to relieve congestion. The idea is to leave the garlic up your nose for 20-30 minutes, then remove the cloves and watch the mucus drip out. Doctors have pointed out that there’s no scientific evidence supporting garlic as a magical sinus relief, and now some are warning that stuffing garlic up your nose for congestion relief can actually have the reverse effect. In fact, it might even irritate your nostrils and could cause inflammation that can result in bleeding. Dr. Richard Wender of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania said the TikTok results may be due to the garlic generating excess mucus that wasn’t there before, as the nose produces mucus when it’s irritated. He points out that the cloves of garlic actually block the mucus flow for a bit, which is why it all comes pouring out after. “That’s not the same as eliminating the congestion that’s sitting higher up in your nasal cavities or your sinuses. Instead, Wender suggested that people try safe solutions like antihistamines, over-the-counter saline sprays, or a neti pot to alleviate congestion.