Kooky Gwyneth Paltrow has this week again been gushing over vaginal steaming - a bizarre practice with alleged health benefits that the actress raves she is now 'addicted to'.
But she's been caught up in a scandal over the therapy, with critics slamming her endorsement as pseudo-scientific and even potentially dangerous.
Ranting that the procedure gives what she calls 'an energetic release' and will 'balance female hormone levels', the star endorses a herb-infused version, breathlessly explaining: 'you sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.'
Her steamy claims aren't washing with some experts however. Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine, certainly knows her way around the female reproductive zone, and she says the exotic procedure is essentially garbage.
'My first concern is that someone would burn themselves because steam is hot,' she told Women's Health.
But on a more basic level, steaming carries similar risks as those posed by excessive washing down there - potentially drying up a sensitive area that has its own impressive, natural cleaning abilities - and possibly disrupting healthy, necessary bacterial colonies. Mary is suspicious of claims steaming can reach the uterus, let alone clean the area, which has very little in the way of bacteria that need any cleansing, anyway.
She also says the notion that steaming can affect hormones is absurd. 'The hormone factory is in the ovaries, and there's no reason why steam would affect the hormones produced there,' she told the publication.
But enthusiastic steamer Gwyneth is unlikely to be warned off promoting the practice. She this week raved, 'I start[ed] to do research, and 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.'