TikTok Says Drinking Lettuce Water Helps You Sleep Better, But Is It True?
It’s been a while since we heard about a bizarre TikTok trend that’s supposedly a secret life hack. Well get ready because the latest phenomenon to go viral on TikTok is none other than drinking lettuce infused water for… better sleep?
The hashtag #lettucewater has over 33 million views on TikTok, where many users are excitedly jumping onboard this trend in hopes of curing their insomnia. The recipe calls for users to soak some lettuce leaves (most users choose romaine lettuce) in hot water, let them sit for approximately 15 minutes before picking out the leaves and drink the leftover liquid.
Many users swore by this remedy, claiming to have felt sleepy about 20 minutes right after drinking the lettuce tea. Some users even said they were able to sleep for 12 hours straight afterwards. But we can’t help but wonder if it’s really that effective, or is it just a placebo effect?
It turns out, lactucarium, a milky fluid found in some species of lettuce (especially wild lettuce) actually has sedative effects according to folk medicine. But unlike the normal lettuce we’d find at supermarkets, wild lettuce is very different and can even pose serious dangers when eaten. And although lettuce seed oil is known to improve sleep quality when consumed in capsules, the active ingredients in the oil are not found in lettuce water, which kinda disproves the whole trend.
“I have not come across any research to suggest that water from which lettuce was boiled could help one fall asleep. It could be a placebo effect. People in those videos expect lettuce water to help them sleep and this, in and of itself, could be sufficient to give them the perception that they are more sleepy,” said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University.
There are also several users who tried drinking lettuce water but felt no effect whatsoever, so maybe the whole thing is a placebo effect after all. But if you’re someone who struggles with insomnia, there’s probably no harm in trying out the trend since there are no known health risks to it. You might even want to try eating the lettuce instead of tossing it aside after soaking, just to see if it’s extra effective!