Gisele Bundchen Joins The Ranks Of Those Biohacking Their Health

The supermodel turns to natural, non-pharmaceutical options whenever possible.

Closeup of Giselle Bundchen
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

The supermodel turns to natural, non-pharmaceutical options whenever possible.

In the wake of her recent autobiography, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, Gisele Bundchen has opened up about several aspects of her personal life. For example, she recently publicly discussed her struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts. Another major revelation offered up by the supermodel involves her approach to such issues, and her health in general — instead of taking prescription drugs, Bundchen prefers to utilize a natural approach.

Per Boston.com, the supermodel’s commitment to steering clear of pharmaceuticals even extended to her mental health. After speaking to a doctor, she walked away with a prescription for Xanax. Rather than filling it, she decided to hack her biology by making major dietary changes and incorporating meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga into her regular routine.

For the uninitiated, biohacking refers to taking charge of your body via lifestyle choices that improve your personal biology. This can include everything from Bundchen’s dietary and relaxation choices all the way to taking personalized dietary supplement stacks with the intention of boosting energy and mental performance. The means may be different, but the goal is always the same: self-improvement without prescription medications.

Gisele Bundchen claims that she’s able to keep herself healthy by drinking a yerba mate tea daily in addition to her other routines. ABC News quoted her as saying that yerba mate is “definitely something that gives you energy” and that although it “tastes completely different than green tea,” it also “has the same effect.”

Yerba mate tea is a popular beverage in Bundchen’s native Brazil. It’s made from the dried twigs and leaves of the yerba mate plant, which are covered with hot water and steeped in a traditional gourd container.

Ground yerba mate leaves
Traditional yerba mate. Barnimages / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Healthline compiled a list of several scientifically backed health benefits of Bundchen’s favorite drink. Some of the most interesting include yerba mate’s ability to improve mental focus, boost energy, lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and enhance physical performance. The drink is also packed with nutrients and antioxidants. In other words, making yerba mate tea part of a regular routine is definitely a form of biohacking.

Gisele Bundchen’s approach to biohacking and natural living goes much further than simply drinking yerba mate tea and avoiding pharmaceuticals. In fact, she uses natural, homemade remedies for several health issues. A prime example is her sore throat remedy, which was passed down to her by her mother. Boston.com reported the model’s exact approach to sore throat care.

“I pour really cold milk onto a cloth, cover the outside of the cloth in plastic wrap, and arrange it around her [daughter’s] throat. It’s a little stinky the next morning, but Vivi’s sore throats are usually gone – I have no idea why.”

Other home remedies include her fever cure, which involves placing onion slices in the afflicted person’s room or inside their clothes and using coconut oil pulling — swishing the oil in her mouth every morning. General illnesses are combated by cutting a lemon in two and putting the halves face up on a plate next to the sick person’s bedside. Bundchen is also a big proponent of essential oils, and she turns to peppermint oil aromatherapy to combat headaches.

Gisele Bundchen walks onstage in a shimmery dress
  Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

As The Inquistir previously reported, there is some proof to back the claim that natural products can have a positive impact on our health. For instance, beet juice has been studied as a natural way to reduce pain in patients with peripheral artery disease, and the results were very promising. Other things that have been strongly linked to health benefits include the adaptogen rhodiola rosea’s natural appetite suppressant qualities — and an apparent reduction in sugar cravings caused by eating pink grapefruits.

Mushrooms have been extensively studied as well. A review of these studies by Peak Nootropics found that Reishi mushrooms may boost cognitive function, Cordyceps mushrooms are mood boosters, and Lion’s Mane mushrooms also aids brain performance.

It’s important to always discuss new supplements or other lifestyle and dietary changes with your physician, especially if you have any known health issues or are currently taking any prescription medications. Potentially harmful interactions could occur without proper consultation with a doctor.

Everyone’s personal biology is different, so what works for Bundchen and her kids may not work for others. On her side, though, Gisele Bundchen swears by natural products that allow her to biohack her health — and they do appear to have helped her to put panic attacks and other related health woes behind her.