Fact check: Think twice before sticking garlic up your nose to clear a block

The clip has been viewed more than 1,00,000 times.

The clip has been viewed more than 1,00,000 times.

The clip shows a person sticking garlic cloves up her nose and supposedly waiting for 10-15 minutes, at the end of which she removes the cloves and mucus oozes out of her nose. This, it is claimed, is evidence that placing garlic in you nose relieves congestion.

Garlic is known to have anti-tumour, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, among other benefits, as illustrated in a 2014 research article titled ‘Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects’, published on PubMed Central. But we could not find any hard evidence to support the claim made in the viral video.

The Hindu spoke to Dr. Mohan Kameswaran, chief surgeon, Madras ENT Research Foundation, who laughed off the claim, saying, “Some people will do anything I suppose! No, putting garlic up the nose does nothing for the nose or sinuses except creating an unpleasant odour for the unfortunate owner of the nose.”

When asked about the mucus seen oozing out of the person’s nose at the end of the video, he said that was most likely induced by the irritation caused by the garlic, unless the person already had a runny nose.

During our research, we also came across various reports on online medical portals where experts were quoted saying this was not a good idea. We found one such report on the site of Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit medical centre in the U.S. In it, Otolaryngologist Raj Sindwani, MD, explained that “blocking your nostril with a pungent piece of garlic can cause more mucus to build, which is what rushes out upon removal of the clove”. He also warned that it could cause irritation or an infection.

Fact check

The claim is false. Sticking garlic cloves up your nose does not relieve congestion.

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Printable version | Mar 23, 2022 6:54:52 pm |