Gwyneth Paltrow

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Ever heard of rectal ozone therapy? We hadn’t either.

Some people call her the queen of wellness. Others call her a peddler of pseudoscience. Either way, one thing is clear: Gwyneth Paltrow is never going to stop trying far-out healing activities and telling us (sometimes way too much) about it.

The most recent admission by Paltrow may be one of her most outlandish yet. The actress, businesswoman, and founder of Goop (a wellness company that’s every bit as elite, controversial, and compelling as its owner) recently hopped onto The Art of Being Well, a health podcast, to share the “weirdest wellness thing” she’s ever done.

She ain’t lying.

What is ozone therapy?

To podcast host Will Cole, Paltrow revealed what was (in her mind, at least) the weirdest wellness activity she’s ever participated in: “I have used ozone therapy, rectally,” she said casually. “It’s pretty weird…But it’s been very helpful.”

So what the hell is this treatment, anyway?

Before we address the attention-grabbing part of her body where Paltrow has received this service, let’s start with explaining ozone. The doctors who provide this service describe it on their official website as “a three-oxygen atom molecule that makes up the upper atmosphere of our planet.” (You know, like the ozone layer.) It’s formed in nature by lightning, but it can be recreated in a doctor’s office “using a tiny machine that delivers an electric shock to Oxygen gas.”

But back to the headmistress of Goop’s admission that she receives this treatment rectally. Here’s the explanation for the alleged benefits of administering medical grade ozone directly into the colon: “When ozone reacts with the water and proteins of your gut, it’s absorbed into your gut wall and fills your bloodstream with oxygen-rich nutrients that increase your ability to combat sickness and slow aging.”

Put as simply as possible (and keeping in mind that this is not a commonly accepted or condoned medical practice), the theory is that this therapy oxygenates your rectal cavity and colon, which is — apparently — good?

Not according to plenty of physicians who immediately weighed in on the subject. David Jacobs, a doctor and president of the Ontario Association of Radiologists, tweeted, “Ozone is a very powerful oxidant which is TOXIC to biological organisms. It is particularly toxic to mucous membranes. The same membranes that line Gwyneth Paltrow’s anus and rectum. This isn’t detoxification, it’s industrial level stupidity.”

Yes, Paltrow is aware of what people think of her

It’s hard to think of a celebrity who receives more consistent pushback for wellness practices than Paltrow — and she’s every bit as aware of this as you are.

All of the bone broth, fasting and dry brushing will not save Gwyneth Paltrow.

During her conversation with Cole, Paltrow explained how she felt about being misunderstood or judged, from her perspective.

“For years, it still hurts your feelings,” she said. “I just let it go, because I realized you’re never, ever going to be able to win everybody over. And the pursuit of trying to win somebody over is so awful.”

This isn’t the first time Paltrow has had this conversation. In 2022, she spoke to CBS News about the years-long claims that Goop peddles pseudoscience to consumers.

“I genuinely don’t understand where that comes from, because we don’t do that. We’ve never done that,” Paltrow said. “I mean, especially when we started, there were so many modalities and ways of achieving wellness that had no scientific backing, but that have worked in India for thousands of years, or worked in China. So, I think it was, like, a way to take shots at us. But there’s nothing that we talk about that’s actually that wacky.”

Paltrow then specifically addressed one of the more famous Goop controversies, in which the company had to pay $145,000 in damages for selling “vaginal eggs” that claimed to have healing properties which weren’t actually backed up by science. The egg is still for sale, years later; the supposed health benefits are no longer listed. (It’s also listed as “non-returnable,” which — yeah.)

“There’s a whole industry now around strengthening your pelvic floor,” Paltrow argued. “We were just early! We would talk about something and the internet would freak out. And then, you know, six months later or two years later, it would be widely adopted.”

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