Belly Button Oils: Does the Pechoti Method Work?
Essential oils are popular around the world. These compounds are extracted from plants and capture the flavor and scent of the flora. They're used in aromatherapy, baths, and as local, topical applications to penetrate the skin surface. Once absorbed, the oils can provide relief from discomforts such as indigestion, depression, insomnia, headache, skin ailments, swollen joints, and respiratory problems.
One of the popular areas for applying essential oils is around the belly button in the Pechoti Method.
What Is the Pechoti Method?
The Pechoti Method originated in India over 3,000 years ago with Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest holistic medical systems in the world. The focus of Ayurvedic medicine is balance and integration of mind and body. Ancient Ayurvedic writings detail a technique for administering beneficial essential oils through the navel. The Pechoti Method is predicated on the belief that humans have a Pechoti gland behind the belly button. Western medicine doesn't recognize the existence of the Pechoti gland, but it is a common feature in Ayurvedic medicinal practice.
Here are the steps to follow when practicing the Pechoti Method:
- Have a copper or brass vessel with a spout beside you for dispensing the oil.
- Lie on your back and pour the oil into your navel.
- Leave the oil in your navel for a couple of minutes until the temperature becomes lukewarm.
- Remove the oil and replace it with fresh oil.
- Repeat these steps three times, then massage the remaining oil gently over the navel area in a clockwise motion until it is absorbed.
Here's how to get the most from your belly button oils:
- When using an essential oil, it works best to dilute it with a carrier oil.
- Before applying the oil, clean out or rinse your belly button and let it dry.
Does Putting Oil in Your Belly Button Work?
The answer to that question depends on who you talk to.
The central point of disagreement centers on the existence of a gland behind the belly button.
This Pechoti gland's existence has been a tenant of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is said to be a remnant of the umbilical cord leftover after childbirth. During pregnancy, the mother's body transfers nutrients to the baby through the umbilical cord. According to Ayurvedic medicine, this is accomplished through a connection between mother and child that runs through the Pechoti gland. When the umbilical cord is cut after birth, more than seventy thousand connections to organs and body tissues remain in the Pechoti gland. Ayurvedic medicine practices the administration of beneficial essential oils through the navel.
On the other side of the question, Western medical experts state there's no scientific evidence that the Pechoti gland exists. There are some medical research studies that suggest essential oils have some health benefits. Still, there's no evidence to suggest that pouring them into the belly button gives any advantage to the user.
Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery at Western Sydney University, has stated that the Pechoti gland does not exist and that it makes no sense because after the umbilical cord is cut everything closes off, becoming ligaments instead.
Dr. Joanna Harnett of the University of Sydney stated in an interview with AAP FactCheck that not only had she never heard of the Pechoti gland — she was unable to find any information on its existence in the public medical library. In addition, there is a lack of evidence that essential oils provide more substantial health benefits when applied to the navel.
Does putting oil in the belly button depart significant health benefits? The answer to that question is up to you.
What Oils Do People Use?
People use a wide variety of oils when practicing the Pechoti Method. Each of the oils offers its own potential benefits for the user.
- Almond Oil: Because it has anti-inflammatory and emollient properties, as well as a high nutrient content, almond oil has been used to soften, soothe, and repair the skin for thousands of years.
- Neem Oil: This oil is considered a more potent remedy for acne when it's administered through the belly button rather than via topical application.
- Coconut Oil: A naturally occurring carotenoid in coconut oil is lutein, which the body uses as an antioxidant and collects in the retina. It is used to protect the eyes against blue light absorption.
- Castor Oil: When castor oil is absorbed through the belly button, it can reduce the signs of aging by smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and relieving dark circles under the eyes.
- Ginger and Peppermint: These oils are used to help relax abdominal muscles and soothe the discomfort that accompanies uterine contractions, thus relieving menstrual cramps and pain.
- Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil: The belly button is a favorite place for bacteria and fungi to accumulate. Oiling the belly button can help relieve these conditions. Oils with antibacterial and antiviral properties are tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and coconut oil.
Before applying any oils for absorption through the skin, spending a few minutes looking at the safety aspects of belly button oiling is time well spent.
Is It Safe to Do Belly Button Oiling?
Oils typically used in belly button oiling are sold as natural. Simply because something is listed as a natural product doesn't mean it's safe. Herbal and plant products, as well as essential oils, may contain bioactive compounds that are harmful to your health.
Most essential oils are considered safe when combined with a base oil and applied to the skin. When using them, however, make sure you're considering others who may be exposed to the aroma and inhaling it, including children, pregnant women, and pets. The most common side effect of topical oils is a rash at the application site, but essential oils can cause more serious reactions such as asthma attacks, headaches, and allergic reactions. Swallowing essential oils is not recommended.
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