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So, people on TikTok are shoving garlic up their noses to clear congestion – but does it work?

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TikTok’s latest trendy health trick is to stick garlic up your nose in an effort to ease sinus congestion. And if you’ve ever experienced that kind of clogging, then you can probably relate to the desire to try anything to get relief. But the new social media trend has some people taking that I’ll-try-anything attitude to new—possibly dangerous—heights.

The video evidence is as gross as it is compelling: There are many, many videos that have been shared thousands of times in which TikTok users put whole raw cloves of garlic up their nostrils, wait a while, and then show off waterfalls of snot coming out of their nostrils after removing the cloves. But what’s really going on in there? Could such a bizarre trick actually work? And is it worth trying to put garlic up your nose the next time your sinuses are blocked?

“I think it’s a terrible trend,” Anthony Del Signore, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology and director of rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, tells SELF. “It’s just a bad idea all around…And if anything, it’s going to cause more of an issue.”

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As a reminder, the sinuses are small hollow cavities in the facial bones surrounding the nose, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains. They’re located behind the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Normally, air and mucus flow out of your sinuses through small tubes connected to the nasal passages. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining your sinuses, and it’s usually due to an infection or allergy, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This swelling causes that familiar (and unpleasant) sensation of sinus pressure. And when your nose is swollen or stuffed up, it can block the sinuses from draining mucus properly, causing even more congestion and pain.

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But, no, putting garlic up your nose is not a viable solution to this problem. Dr. Del Signore sees several major issues with putting garlic cloves in your nostrils to clear out your sinuses—the first one being that it simply doesn’t work. All that snot you’re seeing drip out? It’s the lining of your nose having an inflammatory reaction to something that really shouldn’t be there.

Your nasal passages are lined with mucosa, or mucous membranes, that are sensitive to pathogens and irritants like allergens or viruses. Those invaders can trigger swelling and mucus production, which is your body’s attempt to expel them and protect itself, causing a runny nose. Raw garlic, which contains oils and compounds that are potentially extremely irritating to the mucosa, could also cause them to produce a whole lot of snot, Dr. Del Signore explains.

“You’re not really cleansing the nasal cavity. Essentially what’s happening is it’s causing a caustic irritation in the nasal cavity,” Dr. Del Signore says. While it might look as if the garlic is responsible for the expulsion of mucus and secretions from the nasal passageways and sinuses, “It’s just causing the mucosa that the garlic cloves are in contact with to produce a lot of secretions.”

In other words, you’re not really cleansing anything or reaching your sinus cavities—you’re just making your nasal lining freak out, especially if you leave the garlic up there for a few minutes. “It has no benefit whatsoever,” Dr. Del Signore says.

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It’s not just that stuffing garlic gloves up your nostrils isn’t helpful: Doing so also presents actual health risks. For one thing, a garlic clove is just the right size and shape to get lodged far up in your nasal cavity. “The problem is if it does get stuck in the nasal cavity, it can cause a fair amount of congestion,” Dr. Del Signore says. You could also experience difficulty breathing from a blocked nasal passage. And you might accidentally inhale the clove into your airway, or push it up even further while trying to get it out, which would be a very dangerous situation requiring urgent medical care.

A stuck clove could also pose a risk for infection. Typically, there are a lot of bacteria in your nose—even when you’re not sick (or are sick with a viral infection), Dr. Del Signore explains. And if you are already sick with a bacterial infection, a good amount of bacteria is hanging out in your nose. Introducing a foreign object like a garlic clove into that environment could cause those bacteria to multiply and flourish, Dr. Del Signore says.

Garlic cloves are organic matter, and “bacteria love organic things” Dr. Del Signore says. “Essentially, the bacteria will grow and try to break down whatever is in the nasal cavity,” Dr. Del Signore says. The result is bacterial overgrowth, which could cause or worsen an infection—yes, including a bacterial sinus infection—and lead to symptoms like foul-smelling discharge, congestion, and pain, Dr. Del Signore says.

Dr. Del Signore encourages people to stick to more traditional methods to treat their sinus congestion, such as saline nasal rinses and neti pots. Be sure to use distilled, bottled, sterile, or boiled water—never straight tap water—when using these products. You can also try nasal decongestant sprays; just don’t use them for more than a couple days, or you might make things worse.

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Over-the-counter medications for cold and flu or allergies (depending on the cause of your sinus congestion) can also help reduce symptoms, Dr. Del Signore says. And the U.S. National Library of Medicine advises drinking plenty of water to help thin out your mucus for easier drainage, as well as using a humidifier, breathing in steam in the shower, or applying a warm wet washcloth to your face a few times a day to help relieve pressure.

Most cases of sinus congestion clear up on their own within a couple weeks without treatment, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. But if your sinus issues last longer than that, you could be dealing with a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics, or chronic sinusitis (which can be caused by several different precipitating or underlying medical issues). If you think that might be what’s going on, you’ll definitely want to see your primary care doctor an ENT specialist to help you get the relief you need.

And, of course, if you or someone you know gets a garlic clove (or anything else) stuck up their nose and can’t get it out, seek medical help. The Mayo Clinic recommends breathing through your mouth and avoiding forceful inhales so that your don’t lodge the object further up or aspirate it into your airway. You can try gently blowing out of the affected nostril (but not forcefully or repeatedly) or having someone help you retrieve the object with tweezers (but only if it is visible and easy to grasp), the Mayo Clinic says. Don’t use something like a cotton swab, because you could end up pushing the object further up the cavity. And get medical care—not tips from TikTok—ASAP if you can’t remove whatever it is.

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Justin Hartley Shares Loving Message to ‘Beautiful’ Wife Sofia Pernas on Her Birthday

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Justin Hartley is wishing his wife Sofia Pernas a happy birthday!

On Saturday (July 31), the 44-year-old This Is Us actor took to his Instagram to send love to his wife on her 32nd birthday.

Click inside to see his post!

“Happy Birthday to my beautiful Sofia! This amazing woman makes me laugh out loud every single day. Here’s to taking down oysters all over the world! I love you very much!” Justin captioned the post, while sharing a bunch of photos of he and Sofia.

Sofia then took to the comments, writing, “Can’t wait. I love you! 💕”

It was revealed back in May that Justin and Sofia had very quietly tied the knot.

The former Young and the Restless co-stars began dating in early 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.

Make sure you check out the sweet tribute Justin wrote to daughter Isabella on her 17th birthday!


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Kathy Hilton Talks Paris’ Documentary and Depression After Learning of Her Abuse, RHOBH Prank and New Show Concept

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Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Kathy Hilton shares what caused her to fall into a depression before revealing what concerned her about her martini prank and dishing on the type of show she’d love to star in.

Kathy may just have a friend role on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but she’s quickly become a fan favorite due to her unexpected goofy behavior. In fact, some of her one-liners, including, “Who is Hunky-Dory,” have quickly become iconic in the Bravo world.

Nevertheless, the new reality star got serious for a moment in a new interview when she was asked about her eldest daughter’s troubling documentary titled This Is Paris. If fans recall, Kathy took some heat from Paris Hilton‘s fans after The Simple Life alum revealed she was abused while attending a school for troubled youth in Provo, Utah, that her parents had sent her to.

Kathy has never really discussed Paris’ revelation in great detail, but she got candid about the situation when asked if she knew about the alleged abuse prior to the documentary.

“No,” she quietly told Bustle. “I don’t think at that point that she even knew the question [about her schooling] would be asked. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why wouldn’t [Paris] say something? Why would she not say something?’ I also got into such a depression. I didn’t want to talk to Paris about it too much until I had talked to a therapist.”

Kathy, who says she has also heard from close friends whose kids also suffered abuse at that school, admits she hasn’t been able to bring herself to watch the documentary.  “Let’s just put it this way: I’ve seen the little trailer things, and I would not watch that documentary,” shared Kathy, adding that she is very proud of her daughter for speaking out. “She’s already passed laws and helped people.”

Meanwhile, she also discussed RHOBH and the epic martini prank she played on her co-stars. Though she knew the joke would be funny, the 62-year-old admitted she was also a bit concerned about how the women would react.

“I knew it would be hysterical, but then again I took the chance,” she explained. “What if they got mad at me? That worried me a little bit.”

Speaking of pranks, Kathy isn’t quite sure if she’ll return for season 12 just yet, but she thinks she has a great concept for another show.

“I would love to be an Uber driver, and sell treats in the front seat,” she explained while pitching the show idea. “I’d like to have a thermos of coffee, gifts in the trunk, snacks, food, LA Dodgers hats, things that they could shop. And I would love for them to tell me where to turn. And then I’m just going to go the wrong way and drive them crazy. And then ask them if they would like a coffee or a treat, and then say to them, ‘That will be 35 cents for the coffee.’ And we have gifts. Where are you going? You’re going down to the beach, you need sunblock? Towels? A beach hat? And have all these things, but then give these very minimal prices. And then explain to them that we’re going to pull over, because we have to kind of settle this up, because this is not part of the Uber. Twenty-five cents, 10 cents for the doughnut. Wouldn’t it be funny?”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11 airs Wednesday nights on Bravo at 8/7c.

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Kriti Sanon on pay disparity in Bollywood: Patriarchal mindset is so normal but we’re slowly growing

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Actress Kriti Sanon has some quite interesting projects lined up ahead, including Om Raut’s Adipurush, Bachchan Pandey and more. While she is busy working on her projects, she took some time out and in a recent interview opened up on the pay disparity between actors and actresses. The Luka Chuppi actress believes that the patriarchal mindset is so normal that it will take a little time to alter and grow. 

In an interview with ETimes, Kriti Sanon said, “Yeah, when I do pulling the audience specially when the festival revolves more around my character, its on me, there will be more and more producers, who would feel the confidence of banking the film on me. I feel like its a circle, it kind of will even get that pay disparity. That’s how you grow I feel, in life. The only thing that I had pointed out which happens is when a male and a female actor have a similar kind of role, I feel like men don’t have to prove by having the film solely on them, to grow and to increase their price and somewhere females, sometimes have to prove it more by such kind of films, which is what I felt is a very weird difference. But I think we’re slowly growing and things are changing”. 

The actress further added the patriarchal mindset is so normal that it will take a little time to change and to grow. During her interview, Kriti was pointed out that the actresses like Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Anushka Sharma have fought for pay disparity and getting women-centric roles, Kriti said, “That’s what I was about to say, the day we’ll stop saying female-centric because we never say male-centric. So, I think these small changes when they start coming and it kind of actually becomes equal in our heads when we don’t have any difference, these other differences of pay parity will also somewhere start balancing.” The actress further added that it should be content-centric. 

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Kriti Sanon on working with Prabhas in Adipurush: ‘He is very chilled out and humble’
 


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