Australian celebrity chef and Instagram wellness guru Pete Evans has come under fire for saying that “sungazing”, the act of looking directly at the sun, is a one of the best forms of free medicine.
“Every day I love to immerse myself in an experience within the cleansing ocean water as well as a brief gaze into the radiant light of the early rising or late setting sun,” Evans posted on Instagram.
“These simple, yet powerful practices have got to be two of the best forms of free medicine on the planet for body, mind and spirit.”
Evans, who often shares wellness tips with his nearly 200,000 Instagram followers, is a big supporter of the Paleo diet, and has been criticized for going against doctors’ advice in the past. He once suggested feeding infants a Paleo diet, advises against using sunscreen, calling it “poisonous”, and claims fluoridated water is the cause of all of society’s problems.
While some have defended the Australian influencer, claiming that he only advocates for a “brief gaze” at the sun, at sunrise or sunset, doctors say that looking directly at the sun even for a few seconds is enough to cause irreparable damage to the eye, so follow his advice at your own risk.
The Australian Medical Association of New South Wales have made it clear that they don’t approve of Pete Evans’ wellness advice, especially when it involves staring at the sun.
“We’re getting a little tired of saying this but: please don’t follow advice from Pete Evans. Especially if he’s suggesting you ‘gaze’ at the sun,” AMA NSW posted on Twitter.
Sungazing is a spiritual practice that basically involves staring into the sun at sunrise or at sunset, when it’s closest to the earth. According to the documentary Eat the Sun, beginners start by looking at the sun for 10 seconds and at another 10 seconds every day. Advanced sungazers can allegedly stare at the sun for up to 44 minutes, and some, like Hira Ratan Manek, claim to be able to go years without eating any food by feeding on the sun’s energy.
“Eating” the sun doesn’t work for everyone, though. A few years back we reported on a Swiss sungazer who starved herself to death trying to survive on solar energy.