If you’re looking to lose weight, you may want to consider a new popular TikTok trend that some people claim really works like a charm. It’s called “navel oiling” and is something you can work into your daily routine very easily. But what exactly is navel oiling and does it live up to the weight loss hype? We spoke with an expert to answer your questions and more. Read on to learn more about navel oiling, and when you’re finished, be sure to check out A 69-Year-Old Trainer Shares the 7 Fitness Habits That Keep Her Looking 25.
What is navel oiling?
Navel oiling is pretty much exactly what it sounds like! The process consists of pouring various oils into your belly button and letting it sit there for several minutes before you massage it into your skin. “It’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to potentially help with menstrual cycles, menstrual cramps, hair growth, etc.,” explains Dr. Deena Adimoolam, MD, a specialist in primary care prevention and endocrinology and a member of our Medical Expert Board.
Can navel oiling help you lose weight?
People on TikTok claim navel oiling can help with your weight loss efforts, along with digestion. For instance, according to a video posted by TikToker JuTeas, “I lost my fupa in less than 60 days using the Navel Oil! But it’ll do a lot more than just flatten your tummy! If you suffer from gut issues, hormonal imbalances such as high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, or any other impurities within your body this oil will help!”
Another TikToker, Pheonix Alazam, claims she dropped over 14 pounds by doing navel oiling with castor oil. TikTok users were quick to comment about their own journeys, with one noting, “I have been putting castor oil in my belly button for like two weeks now and I’m already a pant size smaller.” Another wrote, “I’ve been doing the castor oil wraps for five days now and I’m starting to see shrinking in my stomach… I looked in the mirror today and was like…”
According to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, castor is a type of vegetable oil produced from castor beans. This oil is dubbed an approved laxative by the FDA and can help relieve constipation. However, there is no scientific data that backs up that navel oiling can result in weight loss, Dr. Adimoolam explains. “The influencers on social media who’ve utilized this method and lost weight, have also confirmed they also lost weight by incorporating dietary and lifestyle changes as well,” she adds, stressing that if you’re interested in losing weight, it’s important to devise a plan with your physician that may integrate lifestyle tweaks and a routine that will work best for you.