Is It Safe To Put Garlic Up Your Nose?

A new Tik Tok trend has gone viral and has people asking if sticking garlic cloves into your nostrils can clear up sinus congestion. Tik Tok user @laurenwhelxn posted a video — which has accumulated over 13 million views — in which she sticks garlic cloves up her nostrils, in the hopes that this trick will get rid of her congestion from seasonal allergies. Warning if you want to watch her video: It's pretty gross. Not only does she describe the pungent scent of the garlic spreading into her throat, but a lot of mucus pours out of her nostrils when she removes the garlic after 15 minutes. She captioned the video with "ok, it works," and given the amount of snot she expelled, it seems like it might. But is this new Tik Tok trend the real deal and, more importantly, is it even safe to put garlic up your nose? 

Garlic doesn't clear congestion

According to Health, when you're congested, your body does create a lot of mucus. Clogging your nostrils with anything, including garlic cloves, holds that mucus in and temporarily prevents it from draining. There is no property in garlic that inherently breaks down mucus, or prevents congestion from forming. So, the big wad of snot expelled at the end of the Tik Tok videos is merely the result of mucus build-up from the blockage, and has nothing to do with the garlic itself.

In addition, sticking garlic up your nose could cause some problems like irritation in your sinus lining. When you stick anything up your nose, you also risk the possibility of accidentally choking on it or inhaling it if it gets sucked down the back of your throat. Skip this trend, and use irrigate with a Neti pot to rinse out your sinuses with saline instead. If you want the health benefits from garlic, eat it.