health is wealth

Do I Really Want to Know What Rectal Ozone Therapy Is?

Gwyneth Paltrow Photo: Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow, obviously, does a whole lot of wacky shit in the name of wellness. Her brand, Goop, has recommended at-home coffee enemas, eight straight days spent consuming only goat milk to kill that parasite you “probably” have, and cleansing yourself of bad vibes by covering your body in frequency-healing stickers or misting your rooms with gem-infused vampire repellent. It will sell you an allegedly genital-strengthening jade egg or a bag of artisanal poop. We could go on, though I assume that nothing I can tell you about Paltrow’s lifestyle choices will surprise or shock you. But maybe it will amuse you to learn that she shoots (or has shot) gas up her butt for her health? Or, to borrow the more refined phrasing she used on The Art of Being Well podcast this week with Dr. Will Cole, she has “used ozone therapy, rectally.” And before the “keyboard warriors” (Cole’s term) come for her, she recognizes it’s “pretty weird.” I don’t think she cares, though.

If we want to understand what is happening here, one obvious question needs answering: What is ozone therapy? According to the Cleveland Clinic, it entails the administration of ozone (a three-oxygen-atom molecule) to the body as a gas — because “it’s highly unstable and explosive in liquid or solid form” — to boost oxygen levels. You can take your ozone by exposing your skin via sauna or solution; dissolving it in water or oil and ingesting it; injecting it straight into your muscles; “mixing it with your blood,” per the Cleveland Clinic; or, yes, blowing it up your ass, which maybe doesn’t sound all that bad when set alongside the other options. Adherents believe ozone therapy encourages cell regeneration, reduces inflammation, potentially minimizes bacteria and viruses, and thereby promotes healing and a strong immune system. The FDA, by contrast, warns against it because “ozone is a toxic gas with no known useful medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy,” and “in order for ozone to be effective as a germicide, it must be present in a concentration far greater than that which can be safely tolerated by man and animals.”

Paltrow, however, claims ozone therapy has “been very helpful,” though she didn’t say for what. She did, however, mention that her wellness regimen includes lots of vegetables, a largely paleo diet, intermittent fasting, a near-daily lunch of soup (or, bone broth, which is not itself soup but can become soup if you add ingredients to it), regular infrared sauna sessions, and of course, meditation. In a delightful twist, she was also hooked up to a vitamin IV while she explained all of this, which, beautiful. Follow for more healthy tips!

Do I Really Want to Know What Rectal Ozone Therapy Is?