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Can TikTok’s Navel Oiling Trend Help with Weight Loss and Stress?

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By Jessy Sloan - - 5 Mins Read
Oil | Photo by Shiny Diamond Pexels

In the dynamic world of health trends, TikTok has emerged as a surprising catalyst, introducing practices like navel oiling to the forefront. This trend, rooted in ancient Ayurvedic practices, involves applying natural oils to the belly button, with claims of aiding weight loss and reducing stress. But how much of this is fact, and how much is social media fiction?


The Navel Oiling Phenomenon:

Navel oiling, or Nabhi Chikitsa, is an age-old Ayurvedic practice that has found new life on TikTok. Users enthusiastically apply oils like coconut, mustard, or rosemary to their belly buttons, believing in its myriad health benefits. According to proponents, the navel, a pivotal body part connected to various veins, can absorb these oils and distribute their benefits throughout the body.

@ankleweightqueen I let it sit in my bellybutton for 5-10 mins. #castoroil #bellybutton #treatment #holistic #care #digestion #remedies #bloating #fyp #foryou ♬ Strangers - Kenya Grace

Claims of Weight Loss and Stress Relief:

The most popular claims surrounding navel oiling are its potential effects on weight loss and stress relief. Advocates suggest that certain oils can stimulate metabolism when absorbed through the navel, aiding in fat reduction. For stress relief, the practice is thought to have a soothing effect, akin to aromatherapy, by engaging the senses and promoting a sense of calm.


A Closer Look at the Science:

Scientifically, these claims are met with skepticism. While topical application of oils can moisturize the skin and may offer mild relaxation benefits through their aroma, there is scant scientific evidence supporting the notion that navel oiling can significantly influence weight loss or stress levels. Metabolism and stress responses are intricate processes influenced by a multitude of factors, and simple topical applications are unlikely to yield substantial effects.


Oiling | Image by Silke from Pixabay

The Power of the Placebo Effect:

The placebo effect and the influence of social media cannot be underestimated in the realm of health trends. When a practice gains popularity online, particularly with anecdotal endorsements, individuals may perceive benefits largely because they expect to. This psychological phenomenon can be particularly potent with health and wellness trends.


Exploring Established Weight Loss and Stress Management Methods:

For those earnestly seeking weight loss and stress relief, time-tested methods are recommended. Balanced diets, regular physical activity, and mindfulness practices such as meditation have substantial scientific backing. These approaches address the underlying causes of weight gain and stress, offering more sustainable and effective solutions.


The Role of Ayurveda in Modern Wellness:


Oil Stirnol | Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay


While navel oiling as a standalone practice may not deliver on its lofty promises, it's part of a broader Ayurvedic tradition that emphasizes holistic wellness. Ayurveda, with its focus on balance and natural remedies, offers a wealth of practices that can complement modern medicine. However, it's crucial to approach such practices with a discerning eye and integrate them thoughtfully into a comprehensive wellness plan.



Navel oiling, as popularized on TikTok, might be a benign practice and could provide minimal benefits like skin hydration or temporary relaxation. However, its claims of significant weight loss and stress reduction remain largely unsubstantiated. In the world of health and wellness, especially in the age of social media, it's vital to differentiate between intriguing trends and scientifically supported health practices. For lasting health benefits, turning to proven methods is the best course of action.