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Why is alternative medicine not just a load of Goop?

Alternative forms of medications hold a long and illustrious history, predating modern medicine by a significant number of centuries. From the ancient ear nose, and throat healing properties of turmeric and bee pollen, alternatives medicines have now been hybridized and categorized into ‘home remedies’ and Deliciously Ella-esque turmeric lattes. Whilst there is an undoubtedly tentative feeling about the science behind alternative medicine, there is no negating the fact that statistically, our ancestors had immunity to a much wider range of pathogens.

However, there is a world of difference between the properties of ancient holistic and plant-based and ‘The Mother Load’, a £88 ‘top-of-the-line-natal-protocol’ from Goop. It claims to increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant whilst, incidentally, prescribing 110% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A for adults, thus posing a risk to an unborn baby.

It is within a similar vein of scientific guesswork that has landed Gwyneth Paltrow’s multi0-million dollar corporation in hot water, specifically the recent scandal regarding their ‘vaginal detox eggs.’ In a shift from the lucrative to the ludicrous, Goop launched a vaginally-inserted crystal egg that claimed to cure hormonal imbalance, whilst also preventing uterine prolapse and improving bladder control. The $66 eggs came in ‘Jade’ and ‘Rose Quartz’, and Paltrow’s empire is now legally required to refund every consumer, in a lawsuit that is costing them $145,000, on grounds of scientific ambiguity.

There was a predictable apathy towards the outcries of rightly dissatisfied Goop consumers; taking the line that only the gullible and uninformed would splurge on an egg that claimed to revitalise vaginal energy. And yet, the people seeking out holistic and alternative sources of clean living are not relegated to New-Age curiosity, but part of a wider health revolution.

In comparison to expensive medications with names comprised of inaccessible scientific jargon, the shift in popularity toward holistic remedies – such as tea tree oil and milk thistle – is natural. In democratizing medicine, people no longer have to wait 18 weeks to be prescribed a pill they can buy immediately in Holland and Barrett. With particular regard to what is the most profitable industry in America today, the privatisation of healthcare leads to intangible expenses for the average US citizen to engage with whenever a minor problem might arise, such as acne. Better to buy Juice Beauty by Goop than to purchase an appointment with an overworked, overpriced GP?

Paradoxically, it is the faith in the clean-cut nature of ‘wellness’ products that amplifies the severity of the recent Goop scandal. In a reality where nobody has been reading the terms and conditions, the terms and conditions have not been required to play fair. Whereas, the core appeal of natural products is their honesty, in brand and business.

However, murky though the waters of corporate-consumer openness are, Goop is not the only brand being catechised due to ambiguous data. Therefore, although there is no justification for lack of scientific evidence, especially considering the importance of what we put into our bodies, it is part of a wider narrative that is only just starting to unravel.

Goop aside, there is a plethora of alternative medicine and natural beauty products from which to choose. Although the science behind the successes of Ella Woodward and Tom Brady’s respective alternative healthcare and diets isn’t concrete, there is no denial that Woodward’s Postural  Tachycardia Syndrome has now effective disappeared, and Brady is still the GOAT at the unthinkable age of forty-one.

Furthermore, it is imperative that alternative medicine as an entity received more promotion given that superbugs such as MRSA and increasingly resistant to antibiotics due to frequent overuse and depletion of such modern medication, fuelling the desire to find natural cures for common infections and diseases.

It is also essential that we consider the cultural perspective on alternative medicine, for Gen Z is supposedly the ‘green juice generation.’ You only have to set foot in ATIK on any given night to know that this is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Yet, whilst stereotypical Brit students still proliferate, the global appeal towards alternative healthcare products is that they strip bare into the chemicals and chaos of modern life to go back to the beginning; reenergising your spiritual equilibrium and root your mind and body in the wonderment of nature.

Image: (fstverlag via pixabay) 

By Octavia Dunlop

Octavia Dunlop studies French and English Literature. Octavia first wrote for The Student in freshers’ with a piece entitled En Vogue: Has diversity in fashion gone far enough. Having written about high fashion continuously throughout her first semester,  branching out  to interview WCS @ Yale director Patricia Russo for the news section, she then became the first Senior Writer for lifestyle, before becoming Features Editor in her first-year.

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