3 crazy health fads that are hard to believe

snail facial in Thailand

There will come a time when we look back on these fads and shake our heads in disbelief; but for now, they are still mindbogglingly popular.

When you think back on some of the crazy health fads of past years, it is difficult to believe how people could be so gullible. Think of fat-vibrating belts, Shake Weights, cabbage soup diets, juice cleanses, sauna suits, low-carb diets, and more. You may shake your head and laugh, but the fact is we fail to learn from the past.

Humans instinctively crave novelty, which is why we’re not content to believe the simple message that plenty of exercise, good food, and adequate sleep are pretty much all we need for optimal physical health and appearance. We still search for shortcuts, for new ways to achieve what we dream of having without putting in the hard work. Consider some of the wackiest health fads that are popular right now, some of which are described in this amusing article in the Globe & Mail.

Snail Slime Facial

Imagine lying on your back, eyes closed, body relaxed, while several tiny snails inch across your face, leaving trails of snot-like slime on your skin. Sound like a good time? No, thanks.

In the world of extreme spa treatments, however, snail mucus is said to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It supposedly boosts collagen, repairs and re-hydrates damaged skin, softens and brightens it, all of which seems like a pretty impressive performance from a bit of mucus.

If you’re not comfortable with the live snails and their 14,000 microscopic teeth, you can buy the Age-Defying Snail Hydro-Gel Face Mask Sheet from Sephora to get the same effect.

Surely there are less disgusting ways to care for one’s skin, particularly treatments that do not involve potential infection from the many parasites that live on snails.

Coffee Enemas

An article on MindBodyGreen states that coffee enemas are “making a comeback as people are starting to see the health benefits.” Apparently coffee enemas are “powerful detoxifiers” that “stimulate the liver to produce Glutathione S transferase,” which binds to toxins that are then “released out of the body along with the coffee.”

I don’t know about you, but my idea of taking a morning coffee is quite different from that suggested by MindBodyGreen, regardless of the supposed health benefits. I side more with the Globe & Mail’s cautious opinion:

“The oddball treatment dates back to the Gerson Therapy, developed in the 1930s to fight cancer and other diseases. But it’s one of those things you shouldn’t try at home – or anywhere else. The risks include anal ulcers and an inflamed colon. That’s enough to kill anyone’s buzz.”

Weight-Loss Soap

A Chinese company called Fountain of Youth Technologies markets a bar soap called Aoqili that is said to have “fat-emulsifying properties.” By lathering up in a hot shower and rubbing this special seaweed soap all over your body, you will “penetrate the skin by osmosis and react with the fat deposits that are directly stored beneath the skin and make them blood soluble. The blood flowing into this area picks up the emulsified fat deposits and flushes them out of the body resulting in the loss of body fat in the areas where the soap is applied.”

This soap has given Japanese and Chinese women false hope for years, the Globe & Mail reports. Japan supposedly purchases 28 million bars a year, while some Chinese women shower up to 10 times a day in hopes of lathering away the fat.

Sounds like a recipe for awfully dry skin, and a waste of time that could be much better used taking a jog around the block.

Katherine Martinko

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