"Miranda Kerr's highly unusual relationship with leeches is the stuff of my nightmares."

Miranda Kerr out-Gwyneth-Paltrowed-Gwyneth-Paltrow at the inaugural Goop summit in California over the weekend, in what was potentially the most LA exchange that has ever taken place.

The summit, headed by Paltrow, hosted guest speakers who espoused that kale, tomatoes and potatoes are all dangerous to the American diet, and included a live 10 minute face lift with Dr Julius Few, who threaded a needle through a woman’s cheek.


But the final panel, which included Miranda Kerr, Nicole Ritchie, Cameron Diaz and Paltrow herself, explored the different ways in which these women approach wellness.

LISTEN: Holly Wainwright, Monique Bowley and I discuss whether celebrity health advice is ultimately dangerous on the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below. 

That’s when Kerr brought up leeches as though it was no big deal.

“We’re constantly swapping numbers on healers and doctors,” Paltrow laughed, before Kerr said, “Have you tried leech therapy?”

The audience collectively gasped, unsure of whether or not Kerr was straight up trolling them.

“I’ve had a leech facial,” Kerr continued. “I kept the leeches, they’re in my koi pond. You’re not allowed to reuse them, and if you don’t take them home, then she kills them, and I didn’t like that idea.”

(As a side note, what the hell is a ‘koi pond’?)

“It has to be done with a practitioner that’s licensed,” she said. Kerr chose LA Leeches, which, yes, is a place that actually exists in the world.


“Health is wealth,” she concluded, even though we’re not quite what that means. “They’ve been doing leech therapy for thousands of years.”

And indeed, Kerr is right.

Other things humans did for thousands of years include;

  • Using crocodile poo as a diaphragm, in order to prevent pregnancy.
  •  Using a mixture of white lead and vinegar as foundation, which was highly poisonous.
  • Slavery.

My point is, just because humans have done a certain thing for thousands of years, doesn’t mean it has any credibility whatsoever. It certainly doesn’t automatically mean it works.

The theory behind leech therapy, is that when they latch onto their prey and feed on their blood, they simultaneously inject a variety of bioactive peptides.

Image via Getty.

The procedure consists of placing leeches on the face, letting them feast, and then smearing the blood back on the patients face, somehow resulting in younger looking skin.

If you're struggling to understand how such a practice works that might be because, well, it doesn't.

Dermatologist Lynne Haven argues, "leech facials don't make any sense." No one wants to come between a woman and her leeches, but Haven says there is absolutely no proven benefit whatsoever.


Paltrow responded to Kerr with a laugh, and said, "Wow - I thought I was bats crazy!"

Paltrow has been widely criticised for spruiking vaginal steaming, and advising that women put jade eggs into their vaginas in order to balance their hormones, and harness their true feminine energy.

She failed to mention that both might come with a side of yeast infection, or worst case scenario, toxic shock syndrome.

Paltrow has also undergone apotherapy, a skin treatment that involves being stung by bees in order to get rid of inflammation and scarring.

Look, I don't want to sound like a cynic, but something tells me no amount of leeches or bees is going to make me look anything like Paltrow or Kerr.

I'm probably going to stick to the face wash I bought from the supermarket, and some moisturiser. And descend into a panic attack if I ever discover a leech within 100 kilometres of my body.

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

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