She called enemas an "ancient remedy." Here's what an expert said.

By Christina Oehler
July 18, 2019

Katy Perry is keeping her ‘Teenage Dream’ alive—in a very unusual way. The singer, 34, revealed in an Australian interview on Tuesday that she's getting older and her cells are dying...so she's started practicing an “ancient remedy” to help her stay young. 

“I’m kind of into those type of things, like health and healing places and self-betterment places,” Perry said on the Australian radio show Smallzy’s Surgery. “Especially as you get older and you have longer hangovers, you realize the cells in my body are dying. I did this thing called Panca Karma...you do lots of enemas.”

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Perry explained the benefits of getting enemas, saying, “You definitely feel more energy, it basically like gets all the crap out of you, every pun intended.”

But Perry’s alternative to anti-aging products like sunscreen and retinol cream is not really a smart strategy. First, a refresher: Enemas are the “injection of a liquid through the anus into the large bowel,” according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Enemas can have many uses, but one popular reason people get them is to cleanse the colon—a practice some believe removes toxins, promotes weight loss, and improves the body’s absorption of nutrients, among other things. Unfortunately, we've got bad news for proponents like Perry: There's no published evidence that any of these benefits are real.

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“I think people are constantly looking for ways to feel better, and there’s a psychological component to wanting to cleanse yourself and get things out of your system, so to speak,” Ranit Mishori, MD, a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, previously told Health. “But that’s already being done, very expertly, 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, by the kidneys and the liver; it’s why we have bowel movements.”

Dr. Mishori coauthored a 2011 scientific review, published in The Journal of Family Practice, which concluded that doctors “should advise patients that colon cleansing has no proven benefits and many adverse effects.” 

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In fact, enemas could cause bodily harm. They can irritate the lining of the GI tract and potentially introduce infection-causing bacteria into the colon, said Dr. Mishori. Even if enemas didn't pose health risks, she said she “can’t imagine why a healthy person would want to do this.”

During her interview, Perry explained that in addition to her enema use, she and fiancé Orlando Bloom try to stay healthy despite their hectic lifestyles—but it doesn't always go as planned. 

“Orlando is very all about that kind of new age of living...today we are actually on a little bit of a health kick because we ate so many croissants when we were on vacation,” Perry said, adding that the two are currently “eating fruit and apple cider vinegar and later I may have a vegan meal.”

Then she clarified, “Probably tomorrow I will have an In-N-Out burger." 

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