Popular TikTok Health Trends: Do they Really Work?

July 28, 2021
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

There are a number of health and nutrition trends that have taken viewers on the social media platform TikTok by storm. Some of these trends are really out there and some have us all believing that there may be something to them. During my recent Wellness Wednesday Facebook LIVE, I unpacked the top 7 prevailing TikTok health trends and offered my opinion and recommendations. Here is a breakdown of these trends and what I have to say about them:

1. Can Eating Papaya Seeds Help Get Rid of Parasites?

TikTok users are scooping whole papaya straight from the fruit and eating it by the spoonfuls. Is this an effective anti-parasitic treatment?

This trend is true. I have many clients who have gone south of the border and have gotten rid of parasites by scooping the seeds out of a papaya and drying them in the sun and then adding a spoonful of honey to it. The honey acts as a bait for the worms and the results are very visible. People have found many worms in their stool after doing this, including tapeworms, threadworms, flukes and pinworms! Some other natural ways to help rid yourself of worms include adding two cloves of chopped raw garlic to your food daily OR adding a tablespoon or two of food-grade diatomaceous earth to your smoothie. However, what I’ve found to be really effective for my clients over the years is to take Verma-Plus and Para-Key for five days around each full moon (or a longer cleanse as needed). I wrote extensively about parasites in my book Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health, or you can get my full parasite protocol in this e-book, Natural Healing for Parasites.

2. Does “Dry Scooping” Help You Lose Weight?

Before working out, users are swallowing a “dry scoop” of pre-workout energy powder, usually containing large amounts of caffeine, instead of mixing the powder with a liquid, as intended. Is this trend safe and effective in boosting performance, endurance, speed, strength, or stamina?

First of all, people who are doing this are getting a straight dose of caffeine instead of it being diluted which can’t be good for you. Quite frankly, I would never take any powdery product, as it can be hard to digest and it will make a paste that you can choke on. A powder of this type has been processed and refined and you need to mix it with water so that it gets into the system and into the lymphatics. The high amounts of caffeine may give you a “quick” energy surge, but it’s far from a real energy boost. Caffeine adds extra stress on already-depleted adrenal glands, which will ultimately lead to more exhaustion which is completely counter-productive to taking the energy powder to begin with!

3. Can Garlic Actually Help to Clear Your Sinuses?

TikTok users cut off the end of an entire garlic clove and put one up each nostril for 8-10 minutes. Is garlic an antiseptic that could replace antibiotics for sinus infections? Can garlic actually help clear your sinuses or reduce inflammation? And is this safe?

Garlic can certainly help clear your sinuses, but you should NEVER put the cloves in your nostrils as it would be extremely irritating to the nasal passages. I do recommend, as above, to include garlic in your diet for a number of health benefits. You can juice it, eat it with a little ginger, and use it along with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Also, you can put a few crushed cloves of garlic in 2 ounces of cucumber juice, 2 ounces of carrot juice, 2 ounces of celery juice and 2 ounces of beet juice. That will help kill anything going on with your sinuses. Another suggestion that really helps with sinus issues is a saline wash with 1-2 drops of eucalyptus. And I also recommend serrapeptase, which I take every day and is not only effective for sinusitis conditions, but also for fibrotic tissue, adhesions, and inflammation.

4. Can Lettuce Water Actually Help You Sleep?

In this trend, users steam a cup of iceberg lettuce leaves, perhaps adding some peppermint tea for flavor, about 30-45 minutes before bed to induce drowsiness. But, is this really safe and effective?

It is safe and effective for many people. Lettuce contains a compound called lactucarium that does have natural sedative properties. So, I think that drinking lettuce juice is actually healthy. For optimum health benefits, I would choose a lettuce type that has a little more chlorophyll in it, like bibb lettuce or arugula. And, always, always, be sure it’s organic!

5. Do Chlorophyll Drops Work?

Chlorophyll water is extremely popular on TikTok because it allegedly:

  • Clears up your skin
  • Removes the odor from sweat
  • Gives your energy
  • Helps you lose weight
  • Boosts your immunity
  • Fights cancer
  • Helps with detox and digestion

But, are chlorophyll drops safe and effective? Are these claims accurate? Who, if anyone, should try chlorophyll water?

First of all, I LOVE chlorophyll! Many of these trends really are healthy for you, given a few tweaks here and there. And that’s absolutely true in this case. I take Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex and I also take UNI KEY’s Liver-Lovin Formula which is another great source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll contains high amounts of magnesium, and it is a great deodorizer for the body. Anyone who has an issue with bad breath or anyone who wants to detoxify from mercury or anyone wanting a good body cleanse should try chlorophyll. Just be sure to get a high quality, organic source. Chlorophyll powder is usually made from alfalfa. You can also make a chlorophyll rich juice by using parsley.

6. Proffee: What Is Protein Coffee, And Is It Good For You?

Proffee combines a premade protein shake and black cold-brew coffee (protein + coffee = proffee). Some users add syrups or sweeteners, others use powder instead of a premade shake.

This trend sounds like it is taken from my book Radical Longevity which includes my Longevity Blaster recipe. So, what should you look for when choosing your coffee? First of all, you want your coffee to be clean and organic, free of pesticides. Coffee has some of the highest amounts of pesticides of any food out there, so if you think you are going organic and you don’t have organic coffee, you are not doing yourself any favors. It also must be mold and mycotoxin free. Medium roast is better for you than dark roast, because you are lowering the level of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) which I explain in great detail in the book. Stay up on the trends and grab your copy of Radical Longevity here.

My Longevity Blaster contains 8 ounces coffee (Purity Coffee is my preferred brand), as well as whey protein, cacao powder, coconut oil, Vitality C, sunflower lecithin and a dash of Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom and/or ginger. It is terrific hot or cold, and you can get the complete recipe in the book!

7. Trading Watermelon for Cucumber Dipped in Stevia

Users say dipping a cucumber in stevia tastes like watermelon and is a better alternative to snacking on the fruit.

Oooh, what a great idea! I speak about this often, but it bears repeating. Both watermelon and cucumbers are cooling foods and it’s important to stay cool this time of year. But, watermelon is relatively high in sugar. If you are prone to yeast overgrowth, candida, or mold, switching to cucumbers is a great choice. Try them dipped in a little stevia or monk fruit or even xylitol from birch. Another great idea is to dip cucumbers in a little Flora-Key, which has a mildly sweet taste and plenty of probiotics. I give this TikTok trend a big thumbs up! 

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Linda

    I love these tips! Can’t wait to try the cucumber and monk fruit.

  2. Annie

    I’m going to get Radical Longevity. Sounds like it has so much good information in it. I’ve heard you speak about it before..

  3. Zelda

    After reading your suggestion to use medium roast coffee, I’ve gotten some to try. I want it to be healthier.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This