Step aside melatonin—there’s a new sleep-inducing natural remedy in town. TikTok user Shapla Hoque (username shapla11) shared a seemingly bizarre hack for those who have trouble falling asleep, and the ingredients might surprise you.
“So apparently drinking lettuce water makes you sleepy,” Hoque stated skeptically at the beginning of her now viral video. She then went on to explain the process of making this possible remedy, though her own hesitation is apparent.
For those interested in trying it at home, the recipe is simple: wash enough lettuce to fill the mug of your choice, cover the lettuce with boiling water, and allow it to steep for 10 minutes before removing the lettuce and drinking. Hoque added a peppermint tea bag for taste, but later stated that the lettuce water was bland and unnoticeable regardless. Commenters, and later Hoque, smartly pointed out that the addition of the peppermint tea would be more likely to keep the drinker awake, so best to stick to chamomile if you’ll be giving this a try.
Commenters shared their personal experience with the remedy growing up, “My mum used to do this for me, boiled water and leave it in the pan for 5min on minimum heat, always worked for me and it’s all natural,” user milasummer13 wrote.
The video now has over 1.2 million likes, with the hashtag #lettucewater totalling over 18 million views on the app. Hundreds of videos have since surfaced of other TikTok users trying the viral trend, with the majority of results appearing successful.
But is there a scientific backing to this natural-remedy? Experts say that lettuce does contain a substance called lactucarium which, when ingested in large quantities, can make you feel sleepy—though, 4 or 5 leaves of lettuce would not be enough to feel the effects.
If the masses of people finding success with the method are any indication, it seems that something is working with the drink. Is it the next big thing in sleep-aids or just the placebo effect? We’ll let you be the judge.
By Maija Stevenson