The Charred Orange Remedy for Covid-19
A loss of smell and taste has been reported with many Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. According to the Health Nexus, most people are able to get back their senses within a few weeks of their general recovery. However, some find themselves still not truly smelling or tasting the way they used to after months of being well.
In response, many have taken refuge home remedies meant to alleviate the discomfort of sensory deprivation. One in particular has gone viral for its claimed ability to return the sense of smell.
The “Charred Orange” approach involves taking a ripe orange, placing it over a stove top burner until it has become charred all around, then peeling and eating the warm fruit with a spoonful of brown sugar.
The burnt orange cure is based on a Jamaican remedy and has seemed to work for quite a few people. However, the science is still out on whether or not the remedy itself is actually helping people regain their facilities or not.
According to a Harvard Medical Research study, “Findings indicate that the novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells.” In other words, the virus does not actually affect your ability to smell, more as it affects the ability your brain has to comprehend smell.
Anosmia- or the loss of smell, is often caused by viral infections, and is often resolved on its own. More often it is caused by nasal obstruction, or nasal drip, however patients with COVID-19 sometimes experience anosmia without any nasal obstruction or swelling.
According to the same Harvard study, “COVID-19 patients typically recover their sense of smell over the course of weeks—much faster than the months it can take to recover from anosmia caused by a subset of viral infections known to directly damage olfactory sensory neurons.”
In regards to the charred-orange hack, doctors are not yet convinced this is a cure all for anosmia. “There is nothing we’re aware of that would explain why this would be a successful, viable solution,” said Iahn Gonsenhauser, M.D., from Ohio State Wexner Center, though it is noted that eating strong flavors alone is not likely to jumpstart an ability to taste or smell, it doesn’t hurt to try.