If there's one thing TikTok is good for, it's birthing the craziest viral trends to grace the internet. The latest and greatest phenomenon taking place among users is drinking lettuce water. Why, you might ask? Well, its supposed side effects are enticing many to give the odd mixture a try.
So, why is lettuce water going viral right now and what exactly are the claims behind its benefit? Here's a complete breakdown of everything you need to know, including if it actually works as intended.
Lettuce water is exactly what you think it is: lettuce in water.
The mixture that has accrued over six million views and counting on TikTok is just your average run-of-the-mill lettuce placed in boiling water and left to sit in the liquid. The result – a warm lettuce-tasting drink – isn't exactly the most appetizing beverage out there, but people aren't getting behind the trend for its taste; they are in it for lettuce water's supposed benefits.
Some users are claiming that lettuce water makes you sleepy, but is that true?
The reason people are boiling lettuce in water for a drink can be traced back to a viral TikTok posted by user Shapla_11. In the video, they can be heard saying, "So apparently drinking lettuce water makes you sleepy. Not hella sleepy, like knock-out, but I do feel drowsy."
The video has been shared thousands of times and viewed millions more, with plenty of commentators asking if the mix actually works.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, a certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor, and functional medicine doctor, gave her take on the situation to Distractify exclusively, explaining that although the mixture is new to her, it might in fact help as a sleep aid. According to her, that's because lettuce water contains one potent substance: melatonin.
"There are many reasons why you may have trouble sleeping and we have learned that sleep medication has dangerous side effects," she explained to us. "Therefore, beginning with foods that assist with sleep, due to their high melatonin levels (your sleep hormone), [is] always a safe idea. In addition to lettuce, [try] tart cherry juice, kiwis, and plants known to be rich in melatonin."
Vikki added that although she has "seen no research to support boiling lettuce into a tea before bed," she thinks that "it certainly could not hurt and [is] therefore worth a try." Plus, "it is inexpensive and very easy," she says.
She added that if you "combine that with good sleep hygiene techniques such as dimming lights, not eating three hours before bed, engaging in a relaxing activity, etc," the totality of lettuce water's benefits "might very well assist in getting those extra hours of shut-eye so desperately needed by many Americans."