A significant consequence of catching the Coronavirus is the loss of the sense of smell and taste. While there are no concrete medical remedies for this so far, there have been several on the internet trying their hands to find recoveries. One such discovery did hit immense popularity on Tiktok. The “burned orange” trick on the internet has had several enthusiastic viewers trying it out. While it's successful for some to a certain extent, many people don't mind trying this harmless recipe just for fun.
What is exactly this viral TikTok burned orange recipe?
This viral TikTok recipe is credited to the 23-year-old Kemar Gary Lalor’s mom Trudy-Ann Lalor. Kemar Lalor is a Canadian architect student residing in Toronto. During the pandemic, his mother lost both her senses due to being infected by COVID-19. Lalor himself too felt unwell and lost his sense of taste and smell, even though he was never tested for COVID. Thus, his mother made the burned orange recipe as a way to revive her sense of taste and smell.
In a conversation with BuzzFeed News, Lalor said that his mom had recovered her taste and smell within days with this method. "She showed me the remedy that her mom used to give to her in Jamaica as a child," he said. Lalor tried it later and realized it was effective on him as well.
Thus, with an intention of helping several others who might find this useful, he created a TikTok explaining the recipe. "My mom and I were only too happy to continue helping everyone during this difficult time," remarked Lalor.
Well, this burnt orange experiment follows super easy steps:
-To begin with, you first burn the orange skin over an open flame until it completely turns black.
- After you are done with this, you carefully peel the orange.
- Now, all you need to do is mash up the hot fruit in the bowl with some brown sugar.
Hence, the principle applied here is that the sweet and hot citrus is supposed to work on the lost senses of taste and smell.
What was the reaction of others?
Once this innovative and easy to try homemade recovery hit online, several began experimenting with it. While it worked for a few, some told Lalor that they only saw partial results, i.e. over a few food items. Some even told that the results took time to display when they adjusted ways around this recipe. There were also many cases where this recipe failed to show any recovery.
BuzzFeed News reported about one such situation. Philippa-Grace Ako, an employee at BuzzFeed, was infected by COVID-19 recently and she ended up trying this recipe. While it showed no results on her body, she claimed that it helped her boyfriend. Her boyfriend felt the taste of certain items like chocolate and cookies, proving this trick to be useful. She also said that she used a pan, due to the lack of an open stove flame.
As the video gained more and more attention, it even was tried on by doctors and medical experts. One of the people to try this was Karan Rajan, a surgeon in the National Health Service of the UK. He posted a TikTok video of making the recipe claiming that the cooked orange could be working for these people as a type of physiotherapy for your senses. He hence termed it as "olfactory training." On further explanation, Rajan remarked that olfactory training is a method employed in medicines that are used to treat diseases with similar symptoms of COVID-19
"Your olfactory nerve, the nerve involved in your sense of smell, has fibers in your brain and nose that contribute to your ability to smell and, in turn, taste," he told BuzzFeed News.
Pamela Dalton, a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, spoke to NBC’s Today in December. She said, “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."
Does this method have a real link to science?
Realistically there are no proven scientific reasons how consuming a burnt orange would help to regain the senses of taste and smell. Otolaryngologist Jay Piccirillo told Insider, “The TikTok success stories represent a lucky few who may have already been recovering their senses before they tried the hack. COVID anosmia, or loss of smell, is believed to be caused by damage to the structures surrounding the nerves associated with smell.”
Robert Oliverio, a chief medical officer at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC, also had similar views. In an interview with Live 5 News. “I mean, it sounds delicious, but, scientifically, I'm sorry — there’s really no basis for that,” he said.
Hence, so far there is no scientific evidence of this TikTok video being a viable option for recovery. But all said and done, it is definitely a fun experiment you can try on. Maybe, it will help you out, or maybe you will just find a new way to eat oranges!