News, Culture & Society

NHS slams Gwyneth Paltrow for fuelling a wellness industry ‘on steroids’

Gwyneth Paltrow is no stranger to critics. In September 2018, Goop paid $145,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing it of making unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of vaginal eggs and a flower essence that ‘could help prevent depression.’

As a result, Goop was barred by the Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force from making any claims regarding the health benefits of its products ‘without possessing competent and reliable scientific evidence,’ and from manufacturing or selling any falsely advertised medical devices.

Some of her most controversial products or claims are below:

Jade Eggs

A gynaecologist slammed Paltrow’s suggestion for women to put jade eggs up their vaginas as ridiculous and dangerous.

Writing on her lifestyle blog Goop, the Hollywood actress claimed the $66 rocks boost orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and ‘feminine energy’.

Women, Paltrow explained through an interview with her ‘beauty guru/healer/inspiration/friend’, should clench the egg inside them all day to exercise their pelvic floor.

But acclaimed gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter warned in January 2019 that the whole idea is nonsense – and could even increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis or deadly toxic shock syndrome.

Vaginal steaming

Paltrow advocated a ‘mugworth v-steam’ to cleanse the uterus on the Goop blog in 2016.

Also known as V-Steam, the procedure involves lying on a bed while ‘steam infused with therapeutic herbs is targeted toward your nether regions’.

Gywneth insisted the practice has ‘real healing qualities’. She told The Cut: ‘It’s been in Korean medicine for thousands of years and there are real healing properties. If I find benefit to it and it’s getting a lot of page views, it’s a win-win.’

Dr Vanessa Mackay, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), reminded women the vagina cleans itself.

Dr Mackay said: ‘The vagina contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it.

‘If these bacteria are disturbed it can lead to infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, and inflammation.

‘Steaming the vagina could affect this healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels and cause irritation, infection and inflammation. It could also burn the delicate skin around the vagina.’

Glacce amethyst bottles

Crystal infused water from your very own gemstone water bottle allows you to drink healing water or ‘Crystal Elixir’.

Paltrow sells the bottles on her website Goop and says they are perfect for ‘spiritual support’.

Fans claim that iron and minerals along with the healing properties of certain crystals are released into the water, which you can then drink and reap the benefits.

Claire Pettitt, a spokesperson for The British Dietetic Association, said: ‘There is absolutely no evidence to support any benefit of adding crystals to your water.

‘There is limited research looking at crystal elixirs and so the health benefits claimed to occur with these magical drinks are simply not evidence-based.’

The Goop Lab, Netflix

Social media users, health experts, and doctors slammed Paltrow’s new Netflix show as ‘horrifying,’ ‘potentially harmful,’ and ‘dangerous health misinformation’.

They called the actress for continuing to push pseudoscience to a wider audience on The Goop Lab, which premiered on January 24.

The star takes on topics like psychedelics, female sexuality, and energy healing in her new series, and focuses on the boundary-pushing — and sometimes dangerous — wellness treatments featured on her lifestyle website.

Dr Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible who has been frequently critical of Paltrow, told Bustle that she ‘can’t stomach’ watching the trailer again.

She said: ‘This looks like classic Goop: some fine information presented alongside unscientific, unproven, potentially harmful therapies for attention, with the disclaimer of “We’re only having conversations!”‘


Find local lawyers and law firms at