Shailene Woodley is Our Dream Holistic Healer and Here's Why

“She eats clay?!”

“She makes her own wild medicines?!”

“I heard that on set, she skips the catering truck and brings her own lunch.”

These are just some of the claims you may hearing about Divergent star Shailene Woodley. But before we judge, let’s go to the source.

In a recent interview with Natural Health Magazine, Shailene explains her natural lifestyle. And by, “natural lifestyle,” I’m not talking about shopping at Whole Foods, doing a juice cleanse or being, “really into yoga.” Shailene takes “natural” to a whole new level.

She tells Natural Health that she first became attracted to nature when she researched factory farming and genetically engineered food. She was shocked to learn how little we know about the food that we eat. As she puts it, “what is the point of environmentalism if we keep separating ourselves from nature?”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a pesticide protest. I believe it was the great Joni Mitchell or for the younger generation, Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton who sang, “Hey Farmer, Farmer put away your DDT. Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees.”

Shailene discovered that most meat was bad for her because of added hormones but so were vegetables due to pesticides and organic was too expensive. So, she researched what Native Americans in Southern California ate and discovered they were hunters, gathers and healers who lived off the plants around them.

Shailene became resourceful, studying the plants in her area. She now gathers her own spring water, gets her food from a farm, and even makes her own toothpaste and body products. She also makes her own “wild medicines,” instead of getting them from doctors. Do I smell a Shailene Woodley Natural Food and Products Line in the works? (I vote she calls it Simply Shailene).

I think it’s admirable that Shailene can take care of herself in nature; she knows how to make a fire, find a water source and her own food. Skills I certainly wish I had incase of the inevitable zombie apocalypse. But in all seriousness, knowing how to survive in the wilderness is a skill every girl should have. Because you never know.

And then there was clay, which she claims is, “one of the best things you can put into your body.” I get it. I’ve been to Korean spas before. I’ve seen the clay room, the Himalayan salt room and the magnetic room. And while I found all the rooms to be kind of similar, I did find myself to be detoxified after the whole experience.

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  • Courtney Firestone

    I agree with you – celebrities should do what they want with their lives and it’s none of our business – but your last point is, I think, the scariest and most important point. Shailene has a huuuuge fanbase composed largely of very young, very impressionable people. A lot of herbal remedies are ineffective, and a lot can interact dangerously with foods or other medications, and all of them are unregulated. So a young person who is sick and decides that they want to be like Shailene and decides not to go to the doctor and instead to self-medicate with something they read about online – that’s dangerous and scary to me.

    • Michelle Marvin

      Very well said!

    • Megan Matthers

      I don’t think this is in anyway promoting self medicating. There are lots of resources and professionally trained herbalists out there to help someone make an educated decision on the herbs they should be including in their daily medicine regimen, that effectively heal and most commonly have little side effects compared to perscription drugs.

      • Jerri Bourrous

        Agreed. People are responsible for their own behavior. She has a right to live any way she wants and if someone is dumb enough to try this stuff without being properly educated then that’s their problem.

        • Courtney Firestone

          I agree, and the first thing I said is that it’s none of our business what she does with her life and if she is able to safely live off the land then that’s amazing for her. Where we differ is that I think that someone who is in a position of knowledge or power should, in fact, feel a sense of responsibility to those people who are “dumb enough to try this stuff without being properly educated,” because those people exist and I don’t think their lack of education means they deserve to put themselves in unnecessarily risky situations. Many of the young girls who look up to Shailene Woodley for starring in things like Secret Life or the Divergent series might NOT be aware enough to educate themselves properly before adding things to (or omitting them from) their self-care routines. So if a 15-year-old girl is suffering from depression and decides that rather than talking to a psychiatrist, she’ll go pick up some over-the-counter St. John’s wort, she might not think to consult a pharmacist or herbalist and she will therefore be unaware that her new herbal supplement reduces the efficacy of anti-seizure meds she might need if she is epileptic. And yes, that worries me.

          • Trinni Franke

            Well said!

        • Courtney Firestone

          Wow, that came out way longer than I meant it too – I don’t mean to be preachy or confrontational, I really just want everyone to be happy and healthy! :)

  • Nerissa Aksamit

    isn’t this the same girl who told everyone she sunbathes her lady bits to get extra vitamin d? she doesn’t seem like the smartest girl out there.

  • Trinni Franke

    I agree that people have a choice to eat how they like. But I also worry about impressionable fans copying dangerous trends, as sometimes ideology can mask a health issue or imbalance. Eating clay is often a symptom of a very serious condition called Pica. Pica is characterized by eating non-nutritive substances, such as clay, sand, dirt or ice. There are different variations, as it can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency, or chemical imbalance. Sarah could easily be chemically imbalanced or deficient in iron her limited diet. Over time it could lead to a neurological craving of clay which she justifies with her ideology as having a ‘curative’ property. As a friend I would be concerned. She looks healthy, but modern photography and make-up hide a lot, as can a resilient young body! It’s great to cut out junk foods, but a foraging diet and abandonment of scientifically tested medicine is very extreme and potentially quite dangerous for her and fans.

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