How Safe Is That TikTok Health Trend? – Health Essentials
TikTok is great for plenty of things, including going down the rabbit hole of choreography, cooking and cats … but what about health advice? Every week, it seems like a new viral wellness trend makes waves on the social media app, with content creators sharing so-called hacks to cure exactly what ails you.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Here, experienced medical professionals weigh in on some of the most popular — plus, in some cases, most dangerous — TikTok trends, debunking the particular bad ones and giving you the green light to try the safe ones.
1 . Frozen honey
Got a sweet tooth? You may be tempted in order to try this trend associated with freezing honey overnight then squeezing it out into a semi-solid, gelatinous ice pop. But you’d be better off along with an actual ice pop.
Honey has health benefits in moderation, but eating too much can increase blood sugar, lower blood pressure and cause a seriously upset stomach, which includes diarrhea. And gastroenterologist Alberto Rubio-Tapia, MD , says that if you have fructose intolerance (which a person might not really even realize), your raise red flags to stomach could be even worse.
The verdict: Skip the frozen blob and incorporate honey into your diet in healthier ways. And if all you really want is a frozen treat, may we suggest healthy raspberry lemon ice pops instead?
2 . Rice water for hair
Many a commercial tresses care product has claimed to make your own locks luxuriously shiny. But could the real secret be boiling in the pot of water on your stove? TikTok beauty buffs are singing the particular praises associated with rice drinking water to make hair long and glossy.
Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD , explains that rice water, the starchy liquid created when you soak or cook rice in water, includes inositol, touted as a hair rejuvenator plus thought to promote hair growth.
The verdict: There are no negative side effects of using rice drinking water in your hair (unless you’re dealing with scalp inflammation), so feel free to give rice water a try.
3. Liquid chlorophyll
TikTok is abuzz about the potential benefits of liquid chlorophyll drops, made with the pigment that will gives plants their green color and plays a critical role inside photosynthesis.
But is chlorophyll the answer to your health issues? Research says it has certain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, yet it’s not a cure-all.
“Chlorophyll drops are safe to use moderately, ” says dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD , “but your body also probably doesn’t really need them. ”
The particular verdict: It’s OK to go green occasionally, but be on the lookout for mild stomach or gastrointestinal issues. And stay out of the sun, as blattgrün increases your own risk associated with sunburn.
One of TikTok’s most popular and longstanding trends will be daily food videos in which TikTokkers share everything they eat during 24 hours. It sounds benign enough, but viewers beware: These videos can advertise disordered eating .
“Watching these video clips can launch you into the comparison game plus implicitly shame you in to eating less than is healthy for your body, ” Czerwony says. Each body’s daily calorie needs are different, varying by age, sex, activity level and other factors.
The verdict: Don’t be swayed by other people’s diets. It is important in order to eat enough calories with regard to your entire body, not that of a stranger with a completely different body plus life than you.
5. The particular Benadryl® challenge
This dangerous trend challenges people to take large amounts of diphenhydramine (a. k. the. Benadryl) to experience hallucinations and an altered mental state.
It’s never a good idea in order to take large quantities associated with a medication, and Benadryl is no different. Taken correctly, the particular medication treats seasonal allergies and reduces itching. Yet pediatric emergency medicine specialist Purva Grover, MD , states taking large quantities of Benadryl may cause scary side results and result in brain damage or even death.
The verdict: This so-called challenge is incredibly dangerous and absolutely should not be attempted.
6. Nature’s cereal
This meals trend essentially amounts to fruit salad for breakfast, which is undeniably healthy. But TikTokkers possess put a spin upon the classic blend associated with mixed berries by pouring coconut drinking water over the whole thing plus eating this with the spoon, cereal-style.
Raspberries, pomegranates and blueberries are among the best fruits you can eat , and they’re not really as sugary as others. And coconut water is full of electrolytes and potassium, though it can contain lots of sugar.
Dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CCSD, LD, says coconut water is a flavorful, all-natural alternative to regular water. Just choose a good unsweetened version to limit sugar intake.
The particular verdict: Chow down! Or, for a heartier-but-still-healthy option, attempt a Blueberry Smoothie Bowl , which also features berries plus coconut drinking water.
7. Hydrogen peroxide for earwax
TikTokkers say pouring hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal can help resolve earwax buildup. But is it safe?
Ear, nose and throat specialist Anh Nguyen-Huynh, MD , states peroxide can help break up earwax, but in its pure form, it can also irritate your ear channel. Ouch! What’s more, most people don’t actually need to clean out their ears, as earwax assists protect your own eardrums — and typically falls out on its own.
If you’re having trouble hearing, you may have impacted cerumen , a wax plug blocking your ear canal. In that case, see your doctor for assistance.
The verdict: Don’t put concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your ears, but over-the-counter ear cleaning drops are usually OK every now plus then. If you’re having trouble having a build-up of earwax, your best bet is in order to call at your physician.
8. Sunscreen contouring
Some TikTokkers are relying on the sun instead of using makeup to contour. They’re putting sunscreen only on select parts of their faces, letting the particular rays color (read: damage) their skin so they don’t have to contour every day.
But sunscreen is the vital tool in protecting your skin from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause pores and skin cancer and signs of aging. Wearing sunscreen — on all parts of your face and body exposed in order to the sun — should be a non-negotiable, says dermatologist Melissa Piliang, MD .
The judgement: It may mean taking some extra time to do your makeup, yet stick to regular highlighter, and put sunscreen on your entire face.
9. DIY teeth whitening
Many products regarding at-home tooth whitening contain hydrogen peroxide and can end up being both safe and sound and effective. But that will doesn’t imply it’s safe to use pure hydrogen peroxide upon your the teeth, as a few TikTokkers are usually doing.
The particular American Dental Association has approved some products that include safe amounts of peroxide, but that’s the keyword: safe. Dentist Anne Clemons, DMD , says placing any abrasive substance, including pure peroxide, directly onto your teeth can cause serious damage.
The verdict: There are a few ways at-home teeth whitening can be done safely, but this isn’t among them. Should you be concerned about yellowing teeth, your own dentist can help.
10. Garlic up the particular nose
Feel a case associated with the sniffles coming about? Some TikTokkers say putting a clove of raw garlic up your nose may clear your congestion. Viral videos show mucus flowing after removing a clove, but it’s not what you think.
Putting garlic up your nose can actually cause mucus to build, which is what rushes out when a person remove the clove. What’s more, raw garlic can irritate the skin, which usually can cause even a lot more nasal congestion after you’ve plucked the clove through your newly inflamed nostril.
The particular verdict: Dietitian Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD, claims the health benefits of garlic clove are many. But stick to treating a cold the old-fashioned ways: with medicine, rest and hydration.
11. Facial icing
Icing your face isn’t just for black eyes plus bumps on the forehead. This particular TikTok trend takes it back to basics: facial icing to reduce puffiness.
Aesthetician Lori Scarso says the cold helps assist drain excess fluids from the lymphatic system, which soothes puffy skin. It can also lessen the appearance of under-eye bags and brighten your own complexion — all done easily and for free.
The decision: Facial icing is a nice, secure trick intended for a natural pick-me-up, yet it’s not a fix for problems like acne, genetic under-eye bags, wrinkles or other issues.
12. Protein + coffee = proffee
TikTokkers are adding protein powder to their morning coffee in order to make “proffee, ” the power-packed beverage to start the day or even to drink before a workout.
Consuming protein in the particular morning will help curb hunger later, possibly helping along with weight management. And proteins charges your metabolism to burn more calories, states dietitian Kate Patton.
The consensus: As long as you do not overdo it, proffee is A-OK in order to try. Select a high-quality protein powder in order to see the most advantages.
13. Papaya seeds to get parasites
Are papaya seeds the key to a parasite-free gut? TikTokkers say swallowing these bitter seeds can evict roundworms from your own intestinal tract.
They’re not necessarily wrong. Gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD , says several evidence suggests the fruit can serve as a treatment device against parasites. But there’s not enough evidence in order to say for certain, and trace amounts of cyanide in papaya seeds can make all of them dangerous to consume.
The outcome: If you think you have parasites, skip this home remedy and head straight in order to the doctor.
14. Chia water for weight loss
A few TikTokkers have got started placing these tiny, expanding seed products in drinking water and drinking them to stave off food cravings.
Czerwony says chia seed can absorb as much as twelve times their own weight when wet. The wet seed products enlarge within your stomach plus take upward space, preventing you through getting hungry, which may, within turn, help you lose weight.
The particular verdict: A glass associated with chia water here and there won’t hurt. Yet consuming chia seeds isn’t an alternative to a healthy diet — just a handy trick in order to be used on occasion.
15. Dry scooping before workouts
If your first lift pertaining to a workout involves raising a scoop of dry protein natural powder to dump in your mouth, it’s time for you to rethink your routine. Researchers say the practice known as “dry scooping” qualifies as harmful — and even potentially deadly. Studies show this pattern could lead to respiratory or cardiovascular distress plus, at worst, death.
The judgment: Absolutely don’t risk dry scooping. Simply add that protein powder to drinking water as the particular package instructs.
16. Fire cider meant for immune wellness
TikTok wellness gurus swear by fire cider (also referred to as open fire tonic), the spicy concoction made of veggies, herbs and other spices. They state they have preventative properties, with the ability to keep illness at bay. But there is no evidence that this works. “There’s nothing to show that will fire cider is beneficial, ” Czerwony says. Plus it could even have negative impacts.
The verdict: Skip the fire cider. There are plenty of medically backed ways to boost your immune system and remain well during winter and beyond.
17. Lemon coffee for losing weight
Adding lemon juice to a cup of coffee is percolating on the internet as a weight-loss remedy. TikTokkers say all you need to do is sip the mixture and watch those unwanted pounds disappear — but, uh, not really exactly. Lemons just do not have any fat-burning qualities, Czerwony states.
The verdict: No need to subject yourself to this nasty concoction, which usually simply doesn’t work.
18. Mucus fishing
It’s hard to look away from videos of people digging strings of nasal mucus out associated with their eyes with their fingers or cotton swabs. Once cleared, though, the mucus returns inside exorbitant amounts next time, which ophthalmologist Rony Sayegh, MD, says may be a health concern.
The particular verdict: Avoid this one, as mucus angling actually ends up becoming a self-perpetuating cycle. When a person pull nasal mucus out of your eye, your vision becomes irritated and produces even more mucus to help protect itself.
19. The 12-3-30 workout
This treadmill workout is gathering plenty of breathless buzz on TikTok. Raise your own treadmill’s incline level in order to 12%, dial up the pace to 3 mph plus then walk for 30 minutes. Exercise physiologist Katie Lawton, MEd, says that building this program into the exercise routine five days a week adds up to 150 minutes associated with activity, which could go a long way toward weight loss.
The verdict: The particular 12-3-30 workout is healthy and heart-pounding… and pretty darn hard. If you’re using it as a first step to establish an exercise routine, take this slowly simply by tweaking the particular incline, speed and treadmill time numbers to meet your fitness level.
20. Aloe vera fruit juice
Aloe is not just designed for sunburns! TikTokkers are obsessed with this particular soothing succulent in drink form, claiming that it can help with everything from digestive issues in order to acne. And in this situation, they’re right. Czerwony says it also contains antioxidants that help fend off diabetes and heart disease.
The verdict: It’s safe to drink one glass of aloe vera juice every day . But take this easy, because drinking too much of it can cause cramping or diarrhea.
Use critical thinking whenever it comes to TikTok health trends
While there’s no way to know what’ll become the next viral wellness trend, one thing is clear: The internet is no substitute for the advice of a medical professional.
Next time the TikTok health hack catches your attention, don’t assume it’s safe — and don’t hesitate to ask your doctor before trying it.