By Sarah Rudlang

July 23, 2022

RALEIGH, N.C. — As a heat wave grips much of the world, people everywhere are turning to social media for affordable, DIY hacks to beat the heat. However, not all of the TikTokers know what they’re talking about. Duke Health Dr. John Purakal and Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks weigh in on some of the top trending tips on social media.

Trend: Freezing aloe vera into ice cubes to use topically can cool a person down.

Purakal: “This is a fact. It will help to cool your skin. Aloe vera has great anti-inflammatory cooling properties, and it’s used a lot of times in conjunction with moisturizers for sunburn and to help cool your skin. It will not treat heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but just to cool down.”

Trend: Drinking cold peppermint tea will cool a person down.

Purakal: “This one is partially fact. So, peppermint does have a cooling property to it when you drink it. However, tea, remember, will have sugar in it most of the time. So be careful with that, because that can dehydrate you.”

Trend: Taking one-time, heat-regulating supplements can cool a person down.

Purakal: “I’m going to say fiction because when you take a supplement — so for example, there’s magnesium and there’s a few other supplements that are out there that people take to help with regulating things like hot flashes or if they have thyroid issues and they have trouble controlling their temperature — those are taken in consult with your regular doctor and they’re taken regularly. But to start taking something like that when you start feeling symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke will not treat it. You should stick with, again, the things that we know that are tried and true: drinking water, getting to a cool place, things like that.”