The Controversy Surrounding Navel Oiling: TikTok Trend or Legitimate Health Practice?

Published on November 10, 2023, 12:50 am

The Controversy Surrounding Navel Oiling: TikTok Trend or Legitimate Health Practice?

Navel oiling, a new trend on TikTok, has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, including weight loss. The practice involves applying essential oil to the belly button to address various health concerns such as period cramps, endometriosis, gut health, stress, and digestion.

While navel oiling is linked to the ancient holistic practice of Ayurveda, experts caution against its effectiveness due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting it. Some TikTokers claim to have experienced positive results from navel oiling, with viral videos touting weight loss and other health improvements. However, it’s important to note that factors like diet and exercise can contribute significantly to weight loss, making it challenging to attribute it solely to navel oiling.

Experts remain skeptical about the efficacy of practices like navel oiling. Limited research and anecdotal evidence surround Ayurveda in general. Castor oil, commonly used for navel oiling, lacks scientific support for resolving health problems. Furthermore, medical professionals highlight that the belly button acts as a sealed orifice once the umbilical cord falls off and that applying oils in this area may not provide any significant benefits beyond those gained from applying oils elsewhere on the skin.

When it comes to weight loss specifically, there are no scientific studies demonstrating a direct connection between navel oiling and losing weight. Instead, numerous studies emphasize the importance of creating a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than the body burns each day as the key factor in weight loss.

However, there may be some minor advantages to navel oiling. Dermatologists suggest that applying oil to the belly button may help loosen dirt or debris in that area during cleaning. Additionally, within Ayurveda, navel therapy is considered powerful due to its connection with the gastrointestinal tract and overall torso health. Different oils are believed to treat specific ailments according to this ancient practice.

While scientific evidence supporting navel oiling is limited, research does indicate potential benefits of essential oils when used in aromatherapy to address stress, headaches, insomnia, muscle pain, respiratory issues, and depression.

Similar to navel oiling, Chinese navel therapy involves applying herbal paste mixed with vinegar to the belly button for absorption into the skin. In a study conducted on participants with abdominal fluid swelling, those who received comprehensive treatment had a higher effective rate compared to those who only received simple treatment or basic treatment methods.

Another wellness practice that gained attention on social media is oil pulling. This Ayurvedic method involves swishing oil (such as coconut or sesame seed) in the mouth for 20 minutes to reduce plaque-building bacteria. A study suggests that practicing oil pulling for 30 days may lead to a significant decrease in gum disease, gingivitis, tooth decay, bad breath, and cavities.

In conclusion, while navel oiling has gained popularity through TikTok and its connection to ancient holistic practices like Ayurveda, experts urge caution due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting its efficacy. While individuals may experience positive results from navel oiling, it is crucial to consider other contributing factors such as diet and exercise. As with any health trend or practice, it’s best to consult with medical professionals before adopting new approaches.