Shailene Woodley's DIY lifestyle: She makes her own medicines, eats clay and drinks only spring water
'Big Little Lies' actress Shailene Woodley has opened up about a major health scare that she endured in her early 20s when she had just started to carve out her career with promising projects. In an interview published by The New York Times on April 10, she explained that she became "very, very sick" when working on the 'Divergent' franchise, which forced her to say "no to a lot of opportunities". The 28-year-old actress didn't speak about it explicitly, although she described it as being a "very scary physical situation" that nearly sabotaged her career.
She also revealed that she had to let go of some high-profile roles that came to her because of the said sickness. "Because of that, I said no to a lot of opportunities because I needed to get better, and those jobs ended up going to peers of mine who I love. They went on to a lot of success, but there was a mix of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t have let that go!’ or ‘You shouldn’t have been sick!’," she added.
The actress had a hard time coping with the sickness. She admitted that she struggled with self-doubt, which crept in even while she was trying to recover. "I was in a place where I had no choice but to just surrender and let go of my career, and it brought out this negative voice in my mind that kept spinning for years and years afterward," she added.
Woodley has reached new heights in her career since then, breaking out as a more than skilled actress at a young age. She took on some brilliant roles in films and also had some notable appearances on television. 'Big Little Lies', 'The Secret Life of an American Teenager', 'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'The Descendants' to name a few of her works. She has always maintained a low profile and seldom makes off-screen appearances, so relatively little is known about her personal life.
But here's what most people don't know about her. She has quirky lifestyle habits. Woodley adheres to an 'alternative' lifestyle that she says is "appealing to my soul".
She eats clay
"(Clay) is one of the best things you can put in your body. One of my friends was making a clay toothpaste that you swallow instead of spit out. But I first heard about the benefits of eating clay from a taxi driver," she said. "He was African and was saying that, where he’s from, the women eat clay when they’re pregnant. Seriously — ask your taxi drivers where they are from and about their customs. You will learn a lot. So, I've discovered that clay is great for you because your body doesn’t absorb it, and it apparently provides a negative charge, so it bonds to negative isotopes. And, this is crazy: it also helps clean heavy metals out of your body."
When you put it that way, it is true. Many cultures have practiced this for generations. Some kinds of clay possess health properties like kaolin and China clay. The latter type of clay contains Kaopectate which is a common ingredient in anti-diarrheal medicines, said Celebrity Diagnosis' Dr Michele Berman. There's no harm in eating clay as long as it is eaten occasionally and in small amounts, but there is no scientific proof that eating clay has health benefits either beside the obvious cultural context.
She makes her own medicines
The 'Endings, Beginnings' actress said she prefers to make her own medicines rather than consulting a doctor, but never revealed what kind of medicines she makes. Several people practice a similar lifestyle to that of Woodley and like to grow various herbs in their homes which they later dry and encapsulate to make medication that helps with insomnia (echinacea) and common cold (E. purpurea). They are even used in poultices that are applied to the body to heal soreness or inflammation.
She gets her water from the mountains
Woodley collects her own water from the mountains. In an interview with Flaunt, she said, "I think everything about my lifestyle is fairly alternative. I gather my own spring water from mountains every month."
Furthermore, she revealed that she eats organic and goes to a farm to get her food. She makes everything, from her own toothpaste to her own body lotions and face oils. In addition to that, she also crafts her own cheese, forages wild food and identifies wild plants.