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The Burnt Orange TikTok Remedy: Will Your Taste Buds Return?

I’m not sure what side of TikTok everyone else is on, but when the pandemic first began, my For You Page was filled with videos of people who had lost their taste and smell trying to do anything they could to get their senses back. One of the most popular videos involved burning an entire orange, and it seemed to work for some people. I saved one of the videos just in case I ever happened to get COVID-19. Fortunately, I did not have to use it for COVID, but I did end up trying it for one of the worst sinus infections I’ve ever had. I tend to get sinus infections in the fall, so this was not an unusual case, but no medicines were working this time to cure my lack of taste and smell. So, I went through my camera roll back to March 2020 to find the burnt orange TikTok video. Here’s what you should know, coming from someone who tried it and found it successful:

Burn the orange over an open flame.

As someone who always needs to be supervised in the kitchen, I was terrified to try burning an orange in my apartment with no one else home. Because of this, I first tried putting the entire orange on a frying pan to let it burn. This was a terrible idea because there was barely any visible progress. Instead, I picked up some tongs and held the orange over the open flame of the stove, which sped things along.

The orange needs to be completely black to be ready.

I know this sounds really strange, but in order for this to work, you need to burn the whole outside of the orange. For this step, you must rotate the orange a lot, to make sure you can barely see any of the orange’s original color. Once the orange is fully black, put it on a plate and quickly cut it open. After you’ve sliced the orange open, scoop the insides out and put them in a bowl. Pour as much brown sugar as you need to convince yourself that it will taste good – trust me, it will still taste awful.

Eat it while it’s hot!

I had heard that if you let the orange cool off, its remedy would not be nearly as effective. So, as terrible as it may look, you should eat it quickly! And you should try to eat all of it. As I was eating it, I was definitely able to taste something and it honestly didn’t taste like an orange, nor brown sugar. But just being able to taste after about a week without functioning tastebuds was a miracle!

You May Not Taste Immediately!

Do not be frustrated if you ate your burnt orange concoction and still couldn’t taste right away. It takes people varying amounts of time after trying the burnt orange remedy to be able to gain their normal taste and smell. To avoid frustration, I waited about two to three hours after finishing the orange to even attempt eating something else. I found this to work, but you may be able to taste perfectly fine right after! Everyone is different, but if this TikTok trend was actually able to work for me – even for a non-COVID purpose – then I hope it could work for some of you!

Ashley is majoring in English Literature and Psychology at Elon University. She is from South Florida and loves to spend time relaxing at the beach! On campus, she serves as Copy Editor for Elon's yearbook and works at Elon's Writing Center. In her free time, you can find her reading thrillers, writing poetry, taking bubble baths, or shopping online!
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