The Surprising Trick TikTok Thinks Will Cure This COVID Side Effect

TikTok users can be pretty inventive when it comes to going viral, and this latest trend is no exception. A user named Katie Kotlowski (who claims that both she and her roommate have COVID-19) is just one of the users who posted a video of a hack that is supposed to restore a person's lost senses of smell and taste that can occur after contracting the virus. The hack involves scorching an orange, then cutting off the burned skin, mashing the orange flesh in a bowl with some brown sugar, and eating it (via Today).

In her TikTok, Kotlowski doesn't say out loud that the orange trick worked, but she does show herself eating a strawberry with a shocked expression under the caption "BRUHH UR LYING," which most people interpreted that way. However, according to the comments, this trick hasn't worked for most of the people who have tried it off-camera, with many calling Kotlowski herself a liar. Though, there is a potential reason that this trick could be perceived to work by some and not others (via Snopes).

The truth about helping your senses return after COVID

First thing's first: don't go burning an orange on a whim. It could be carcinogenic and do you more harm than good. However, according to experts, if your sense of smell is just starting to come back, subjecting your nose to an intense scent (like, say, an orange burning) could help you to realize that, according to Today. There's also the placebo effect to consider when looking at the orange-burning trend. Still, there are better and safer ways to try to regain your senses after COVID-19.

For instance, you can try training your nose with items that you know smell good to you (think: coffee, tea, spices, or your favorite perfume, lotion, or scented candle). Try to smell them several times throughout the day. Another option is fish oil supplements, which Dr. Alfred Iloreta, an ear, nose and throat doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, says could help. Finally, you could try intranasal steroids, which you can get over-the-counter, to help reduce inflammation.

However, the best way to get your senses back is probably just to wait and skip the DIY recipes that you see online (some of which can even be dangerous). Instead, as Iloreta told Today, your system should "rewire itself" eventually, even if it takes longer than you'd like.