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I shoved garlic up my nose to clear my sinuses — but experts say it’s terrible

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Folks suffering from sinus congestion, and who have a few garlic cloves lying around, are hoping TikTok nose best.

But a medical expert tells The Post that he’s fiercely thumbing his nose at one of the platform’s most trending and “terrible” health hacks — which sees people shoving raw garlic up their nostrils in an effort to clear excess mucus.

“Saw on TikTok if you put garlic in your nose it unclogs your sinuses,” said fitness trainer Rozaline Katherine in her viral video dedicated to the decongestion trick. “It works!”

In her nose cleansing clip, which has scared up a whopping 5.6 million viewers, Katherine, 29, from Arizona, plugged the peeled vegetable chunks into her nose, waited about 10 minutes before removing them and then looked on in astonishment as snot began seeping from her snout.

Similar clips featuring the hack, and shared by other TikTokers under the hashtag #GarlicInNose, have amassed over 113.8 million views.

TikToker Rozaline Katherine is one of the many social media users to promote shoving garlic up her nose as a sinus decongestion hack.
TikToker Rozaline Katherine is one of the many social media users to promote shoving garlic up her nose as a sinus decongestion hack.
Jam Press/@rozalinekatherine

“I didn’t think it was actually going to work which is why I filmed it more as a joke,” she recently revealed to Jam Press. “I just peeled two fresh cloves of garlic and put one in each nostril. I set a timer for 10 minutes and just watched TV while I waited.”

And Katherine claimed that the pungent herb didn’t irritate her system at all.

“It didn’t burn or hurt, and I just kept touching it to keep it in place and waited,” she explained. 

“After 10 to 15 minutes I could tell my nose was starting to run so I took the garlic out,” the bold brunette continued. “I was expecting it to be a little runny but then tons of boogers just started coming out and I was totally shocked.”

And much to her delight, Katherine didn’t experience any unpleasant side effects. 

Katherine, a millennial from Arizona, attempted the hack after seeing the garlic in nose trick trend on TikTok.
Katherine, a millennial from Arizona, attempted the hack after seeing the garlic in nose trend on TikTok.
Jam Press/@rozalinekatherine

She was amazed by the amount of liquid that came rushing out of her nose after se removed the garlic.
She was amazed by the amount of liquid that came rushing out of her nose after she removed the garlic.
Jam Press/@rozalinekatherine

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“I didn’t smell any garlic afterwards either,” she insisted. ”I think my sinuses were flushed out.”

“I was totally surprised by the results.”

However, while a handful of her TikTok followers were, too, pleasantly surprised by the outcome of her spicy stunt — seeing thousands of wide-eyed watchers vow to perform the hack on themselves during their next bout with a cold or the flu — an NYU Langone Health specialist told The Post that shoving garlic into a clogged nose is not a viable cure for obstructed sinuses. 

“The body wants to immediately expel the garlic and its chemicals, so it’s creating an overflow of mucus to flush out that irritant,” said Erich Voigt, an otolaryngologist.

He explained that the gush of snot pouring from the nose once the garlic is removed is merely a new layer of mucus buildup that formed atop the phlegm that initially caused the nasal congestion. 

A NYU Langone Health authority explained to The Post that the massive flow is due to mucus buildup from the garlic rather than a release from the sinuses.
An NYU Langone Health authority explained to The Post that the massive flow is due to mucus buildup from the garlic rather than a release from the sinuses.
Jam Press/@rozalinekatherine

“Because the nose is plugged up, the mucus can’t circulate like it would if you were breathing in and out, so it’s just accumulating,” Voigt continued. 

The ears, nose and throat authority went on to note that corking a nose with garlic cloves could have damaging effects on the body as a whole. 

“Garlic is a very powerful substance that has chemicals which can cause allergic reactions and damage to the skin or mucosa, which is the mucus membrane,” said Voigt. “And if a small piece of the cloves gets stuck in the nasal cavity, without the person even knowing it’s in there, it could lead to a very bad nasal or sinus infection which could call for extraction through surgery.”

Rather than misusing the veggie as a nostril plunger, Voigt suggested flushing out clotted gunk with a saltwater spray or steam inhalation through hot showers and a  personal steam inhaler. 

He also revealed that scientists have been conducting research to determine whether natural scent can possibly restore post-COVID anosmia, meaning the loss of sense of smell, and help mitigate nasal clogging. 

Voigt said scents that may help heal a sick nose include orange, lemon, coffee grounds or lavender — but definitely not garlic. 

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