From the woman who famously brought vaginal steaming and jade vagina eggs to our attention, comes – wait for it – the at-home coffee enema. Gwyneth Paltrow and her colleagues at Goop do enjoy recommending new things to stick in our orifices, but the site's new-year beauty and wellness detox guide takes the biscuit.
The "Implant O’Rama System At-Home Coffee Enema" involves injecting coffee into your bowel via the anus. Will we ever be able to look at our morning coffee in the same way again? The gadget is endorsed by Goop author and cardiologist Dr. Junger and should be used by "those who know what they're doing".
Coffee isn't the only thing Paltrow advises we stick up our bums, though. She also advocates something called "metaphysical colon hydrotherapy", a colonic procedure costing $125 that incorporates "energy work" (whatever that is), "essential oils, crystals, and aromatherapy", and apparently "[goes] deep on many levels". Haha, see what they did there?
Aside from the ridiculous price tags of virtually all of the items in Goop's guide – if you were to buy everything in the guide it would cost about $9,099 (more than £6,700, or many months' worth of rent) – the aforementioned procedures are seriously dangerous, according to a leading doctor.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynaecologist who has made a name for herself by cutting through Paltrow's bullshit (and setting the record straight on other dubious vaginal "trends"), has written a no-nonsense blogpost decrying the practice of irrigating your rectum and colon with coffee, and colonic irrigation full stop.
Gunter says Junger's Goop interview is full of claims that are "unsupported both by the medical literature and by human anatomy and physiology". She continues: "There is no data to suggest that a 'colonic helps with the elimination of the waste that is transiting the colon on its way out'. That is what bowel movements do. There are no toxins to be cleansed or irrigated. That is fake medicine." She goes on to cite a 2011 review on colonics which concluded that the procedure "has no proven benefits and many adverse effects".
The medical community at large is also pretty clear about the dangers of sticking coffee where the sun don't shine. "There is no data to suggest that coffee offers any benefit via the rectal route – but there are plenty of reports of coffee enema-induced rectal burns," Gunter points out. Studies have linked coffee enemas to the inflammatory bowel disease colitis and septicaemia, aka serious blood poisoning. It can also cause highly painful-sounding rectal inflammation, as highlighted by the case of a 60-year-old woman who underwent the procedure a few years ago.
No one needs a cleanse. Ever.
"No one needs a cleanse. Ever," Gunter writes. "There are no waste products 'left behind' in the colon that need removing 'just because' or after a cleanse."
And colonics? Gunter points out that the risks include: "Bowel perforation, damaging the intestinal bacteria, abdominal pain, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and renal failure. There are also reports of serious infections, air embolisms, colitis, and rectal perforation. If you go to a spa and the equipment is not sterilised, infections can be transmitted via the tubing."
By including the coffee enema machine and colonic procedure on their platform, Paltrow and co. are explicitly endorsing them both, Gunter says. "I know the people at Goop will either ignore the inquiries from reporters or release a statement saying the article is 'a conversation' not a promotion and that they included the advice of a board-certified doctor, Dr Alejandro Junger, but any time you lend someone else your platform their ideas are now your ideas."
The moral of the story? Keep that Americano well away from your rectum. There's a sentence I never thought I'd type.
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