Tik Tok users claim orange ‘miracle cure’ brings back sense of taste for Covid sufferers…but others brand it ‘witchery’

7 mins read


LOSING your taste and smell is one of the most frustrating possible side effects of coronavirus – but this burnt orange Tik Tok remedy claims to be the cure.

The latest trend to takeover the social media platform is a questionable home remedy, that claims to restore the senses of those experiencing the symptom.

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chelsiehill_/TikTok

Users claim the burnt orange remedy restores taste and smell for coronavirus sufferers[/caption]

janice_siv/TikTok

The skin must be charred until it is black, before it is peeled off[/caption]

Users shared videos on Tik Tok burning an orange until the skin turns black.

They then cut off the charcoaled peel and mash up the orange pulp with brown sugar – making for a super sweet and citrusy concoction.

Eating the unusual DIY remedy while still warm is said to bring back the sense of taste and smell for sufferers.

Despite the excitement, experts said there is no scientific evidence that eating a burnt orange can cure the loss of taste and smell.

Studies suggest the symptoms typically tend to last for around 8 days.

The original video by @toosmxll has amassed more than 3.7 million likes, as he says: “I’m no scientist but this does work, this is some Jamaican remedies. “

@katkamalani showed the method on her account as she prepared the “miracle” mixture for her partner.

She told commenters, “It brought back his taste for sweet stuff but not anything else.”

Although the source of the idea remains unclear, some commenters also said it was a traditional Caribbean medicine.

“Credits to the Jamaican remedy!” one said.

Another wrote: “It works for regular colds too helps clear you up… I’ve done this since I was little with my grandpa.”

Others branded it “Tik Tok witchery”, as @amaymay27 said, “I lost my taste in August, started gaining it back then everything tasted like rot. Not long after I ate this we had nachos and I tasted it!”

chelsiehill_/TikTok

The trend quickly swept the platform as it is a common symptom of coronavirus[/caption]

chelsiehill_/TikTok

@Chelsiehill_ claimed the remedy was successful in restoring her senses[/caption]

Yet not everyone was persuaded – @mal.stevens wrote, “I haven’t had my smell for two weeks now and I tried this and it absolutely did not work. Worth a try though!”

Some simply said, “Didn’t work.”

Researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphi, Pamela Dalton, Ph.D, suggested those who claim the burnt orange remedy worked may have had some lasting smell and taste abilities without realising.

texas_country83/TikTok

The orange has to be removed from its blackened peel[/caption]

janice_siv/TikTok

Brown sugar is added to the orange pulp and mixed together[/caption]

“People often don’t know how much smell they lost, so if they do something that’s really intense, like burning an orange peel, that will give you an extraordinary sensation, you may have already had an ability, but you’ve essentially shocked your system into smelling something strong,” she said.

It is common for those suffering from respiratory infections to lose their sense of taste and smell, with an estimated 60% of cold and sinus infections causing the temporary symptom.

Dalton also emphasised the placebo effect in regards to odours: “I can tell you the room smells like banana and there may not be a banana odor in the air, but you’ll look for it, and you might recall the smell of a banana and think you smell it. There’s a huge suggestibility factor.”

Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Alfred Iloreta, explained the effects of the loss of the two pivotal senses: “The sense of smell is really important in terms of quality of life.

“You lose your appetite, first of all. The kind of gustatory drive to eat and enjoy food is almost entirely removed. A lot of my patients who lost their sense of smell lost a significant amount of weight and became very frustrated and depressed.”

However, he warned of attempting home remedies to try and revive senses, such as burning an orange, as it has the potential to be carcinogenic.

Other unfounded methods such as nasal irrigation with hydrogen peroxide or essential oils are also deemed ineffective.

Dr. Iloreta is currently conducting a trial among coronavirus patients to see if fish oil supplements can help restore the ability to smell.


Intranasal steroids and some over-the-counter products may be helpful, as they reduce inflammation.

Some coronavirus patients have taken full advantage of their dulled tastebuds – drinking bottles of hot sauce and experimenting with wasabi.

It remains unclear whether the burnt orange method actually works to relieve the symptoms – but it has certainly sparked a sour #burntorangedebate.

texas_country83/TikTok

The trend quickly became popular as many people suffer from the symptom[/caption]

janice_siv/TikTok

@Janice_siv documented her attempt at the remedy on Tik Tok[/caption]

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