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Viral TikTok Video Shows How One Mom’s Recipe Helped Her Family Recover Their Taste And Smell After COVID-19

Many people recovering from COVID-19 have stated that they lost their sense of taste and smell—some temporarily and more long-term.

What can be done except wait? If you’re feeling adventurous, one TikToker shared a home recipe his mom used as a child in Jamaica. 


23-year-old Kemar Gary Lalor, a Canadian architecture student in Toronto, said that his mother Trudy-Ann Lalor had COVID-19 and lost her sense of taste and smell.

Lalor said he had also lost his sense of taste and smell, but he had never been tested. 

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Lalor spoke about his mother’s recipe and how it helped her recover her taste and smell within a few days: “She showed me the remedy that her mom used to give to her in Jamaica as a child.” 


How to get taste buds back!!! #howto #tastebud #lifehacks #health #fyp #remedy

♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

The recipe seems simple enough. Cook an orange over an open flame until the fruit is black on the outside. Then peel the burnt orange skin, mix the cooked orange in either a cup or a bowl with brown sugar, and eat it. 

Lalor tried his mother’s recipe and said it worked for him as well. He thought it might be a good idea to make the recipe public so more people could see if it could benefit them. 

After sharing the recipe on TikTok, Lalor said people reached out to him to thank him or tell him that they had to adjust the recipe a bit or try it again: “My mom and I were only too happy to continue helping everyone during this difficult time,” said Lalor.

Doctor Karan Rajan, a surgeon with the National Health Service in the UK, also posted a video to TikTok trying the recipe. He explained that the cooked orange could be working as a kind of “olfactory training” for people who have lost their sense of smell and taste. However, he also told BuzzFeed News that it doesn’t necessarily work for all people. 


#stitch with @toosmxll oranges to the rescue? #fruit #orange #learnontiktok #schoolwithdrkaran

♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

BuzzFeed News also consulted Dr. James Palmer, a professor and director of the Rhinology Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, to ask what he thinks of the recipe. Dr. Palmer said he was skeptical, but that it couldn’t hurt. 

“I don’t care if someone wants to burn an orange and then peel it and mix it up, fine with me,” Palmer said.

Lead image: TikTok