The rise of alternative medicine is arguably as damaging to the public as the rise of alternative facts, and some people have capitalized on the trend in the a big way. Just look at what Gwyneth Paltrow has done with Goop, a lifestyle brand that pushes advice and treatments that often dabble in pseudoscience.
You don't have to browse their website long to find some horrifically bad health advice from Goop, which has made millions selling their questionable medicines. Many people may not understand why Goop is bad, which is why medical professionals from around the globe are spreading awareness about the dangers of Goop.
Goop apparently gives some of the worst health advice on the internet, but that doesn't seem to be slowing the company's growth. Don't let their alleged experts and holistic jargon fool you – the things Goop suggests you do to your own body are often as dangerous as they are ridiculous. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office concurs: on September 4, 2018, Goop agreed to pay a $145,000 settlement to those who purchased the Jade Egg and Rose Quartz Egg (for increasing female libido and strength) and the Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend (to cure depression). Customers were also refunded for their purchases.
Unless you love bacterial infections, arsenic poisoning, and bee stings, you should probably stay as far away from Goop products as possible.
Goop Champions Smoothies Full Of Arsenic
For a company obsessed with cleanses and toxins, it turns out there are actually a boatload of poison in some of their recipes. Consider the Morning Matcha Smoothie, a Goop-approved drink that contains high levels of poisonous arsenic.
This comes in the form of tocos, a supposed "superfood" that's really just the uncooked and discarded shells of brown rice. These shells can have as much as 20 times more arsenic in them as the rice we eat. Drinking one of these smoothies probably won't kill you, but it would be wise to not make them part of your daily morning routine.
Goop's Jade "Yoni Eggs" Can Lead To Bacterial Vaginosis Or Toxic Shock Syndrome
Goop has been known to laud jade and rose quartz eggs. These egg-like polished stones are designed to be inserted into the vagina, and experts say they'll likely do more harm than good.
The eggs are purportedly modeled from a "guarded secret of Chinese royalty" which "queens and concubines used" to better please their emperors. They are meant to be an alternative to Kegel exercises and allegedly help build vaginal muscle as well as being a sort of sexual/spiritual detox.
The reality is that they're porous rocks that are nearly impossible to sterilize. Repeat use can lead to a buildup of bacteria in the rock's pores, which could lead to bacterial vaginosis or even toxic shock syndrome, according to gynecologists.
The Ayurvedic Supplements Sold By Goop Likely Contain Lead And Mercury
Ayurvedic medicine is a 3,000-year-old traditional remedy system that first originated in India. Goop latched onto this train and started selling their own Ayurvedic supplements, but these "traditional" supplements could possibly give you a severe dose of lead poisoning.
According to an NPR report, Ayurvedic supplements are usually made with the ashes of various metals. Some of these metals are quite harmful to the human body, with high levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic found in many Ayurvedic products.
The New York Health Department issued a public alert regarding these products, which are often made in India with little oversight or regulations. In some places, up to 40% of Americans taking Ayurvedic supplements experienced lead poisoning. Supplements were found to have a lead concentration as high as 43,200 parts per million. For reference, the FDA states that safe levels of lead found in products like candy should exceed no more than 0.1 parts per million.
Goop-Approved Coffee Enemas Can Perforate Your Bowels
Leave it to Goop to take enemas to an even weirder level – namely, by including a shot of espresso. These Goop-approved coffee enema kits can cost as much as $140, but they can cost a lot more when it comes to you health.
A Goop articles titled "The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics" pushes the belief that our colons are filled with dangerous "mucoid plaque," a substance that builds up on our intestinal walls and can only be removed with regular enemas. The problem is, mucoid plaque doesn't actually exist. The term was invented by holistic entrepreneur named Richard Anderson, but the whole idea has no grounding in science. The colon is actually very good at its job of excreting waste, and enemas can do a lot of damage to the colon in many ways.
The biggest risk enema-users run is bowel perforation. Amateurs trying to perform an enema have a chance of actually puncturing the colon, which can lead to internal bleeding and potentially death. Enemas also remove important gut bacteria that is crucial for healthy digestion, and coffee enemas in particular can cause ulcers and even proctocolitis (inflammation).
Vaginal Steaming Can Give You Bacterial Infections
The Goop site claims that steaming your vagina will "rebalance hormones" and make your vagina cleaner than it has ever been. Since hormones are not produced by the vagina (they are created in the ovaries as well as the brain), this claim is straight pseudoscience. Hormones are distributed throughout the body via the blood stream, including to the vagina; there is no way that warm steam could have any effect on hormonal production.
Vagina steaming is also purported to clean and rehydrate the female sex organ, but it actually has the opposite effect. Water is a terrible lubricant, and it can actually wash away the essential oils naturally produced by our bodies that help retain moisture in our skin. Vaginas are also self-cleaning organs, and practices such as douching can have unpleasant consequences.
On top of that, heating up your vagina is generally advised against. Our bodies stay at a consistent temperature for a reason; any hotter and that closed, humid environment becomes the perfect breeding spot for bacteria. Steaming your vagina will not clean it – it will actually make it much dirtier and prone to infection.
Goop's Medical Medium Espouses A Cure For Hypothyroidism That Can Actually Cause The Condition
Anthony William, a medical medium who has no actual medical training, swears he can communicate with a spirit that gives pharmaceutical advice. William shared his thoughts on iodine in an interview with Goop, and they were immediately ripped apart by scientists.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a Canadian physician, points out that William seems to be wrong about basic facts regarding iodine. William believes most people aren't getting enough iodine in their diets, but that's actually not true. Iodized salt is a common ingredient in all sorts of food, and most Americans have little trouble meeting their required amount of iodine.
William also believes that iodine supplements are necessary to prevent all sorts of thyroid related medical issues, including cancer and hypothyroidism. According to Gunter, taking in excessive amounts of iodine could actually increase your risk of developing a thyroid problem.