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Why Are TikTokers Drinking Lettuce Water? The TikTok Trend, Explained

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Why Are TikTokers Drinking Lettuce Water? The TikTok Trend, Explained

Lettuce is often associated with diets and losing weight due to its high water, low calorie content. But now TikTokers are claiming that drinking boiled lettuce can help you sleep.

So we've set out to see if there's any truth in the new trend.

What is the TikTok lettuce water trend?

Quite simply, TikTok users are boiling lettuce leaves in water and then drinking the water with the belief that it'll help them sleep.

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This concoction is also known as 'lettuce tea,' with some choosing to mix it in with a herbal tea - we'll stick to English Breakfast thanks!

Insomniac TikTok user shapla_11 tried it out and her video went viral.

"So apparently drinking lettuce water makes you sleepy," the video begins.

She proceeds to make the lettuce tea, making it in a superman cup and mixing it with some peppermint tea for a better taste.

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Immediately after drinking it, she said: "Not hella sleepy, like knockout, but I do feel a bit drowsy."

Then a few hours later, she returned to say it really worked.

Have a look in the video player below.

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The video has amassed more than 1.4 million likes and 14,000 comments, with lots of people keen to try the life hack out for themselves.

One user said: "My mum used to do this for me... boiled water and leave it [lettuce] in the pan for 5 minimum on low heat... always worked for me and all natural."

Another wrote: "I have terrible insomnia so imma try this out ASAP."

Can lettuce tea really help you sleep?

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Apparently, there are some gaps in TikTokers' knowledge when it comes to the lettuce water trend.

It's believed to have been started by a 2017 study, which aimed to find out if mice would fall asleep after consuming lettuce water.

However, there's a catch. The mice were also given a sedative and the scientists wanted to see if the lettuce water helped that sedative to work quicker, which it did.

But TikTokers aren't also taking a sedative, so it's not clear if those who are claiming it helps them sleep are experiencing a placebo effect, or whether lettuce really can help you enter the land of nod more effectively.

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Dr Brad McKay, an Australian GP and TV host, thinks it's the former. "If there was [sleep-inducing properties in lettuce], you'd fall asleep every time you ate a salad," he said, speaking to coach.nine.com.

"If you sincerely believe boiled lettuce juice will help you fall asleep then it might have a chance of working, but any effect will come from the power of placebo and the influence of your own mind - not from the lettuce," he added.

But in the TikTokers' defence, lettuce does contain a chemical which is known to have a sedative effect. It's called lactucarium, and it's nicknamed 'lettuce opium'.

However, "you'd need to consume a whole field of lettuce in order to get enough lactucarium to match the amounts used in research," said Dr McKay continues.

"But even a massive amount of lettuce may not do anything for your sleep - the main studies that support this theory have been conducted in mice, heavily sedated mice, and the mice who didn't fall asleep were excluded from the study."

So there you have it, if you're struggling to sleep, lettuce tea might not be that helpful. Perhaps try some lavender oil on your pillow and assess your sleep hygiene instead.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/shapla_11/Unsplash/Jonny Caspari

Topics: Social Media, Health, TikTok

Laura Sanders
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