A congressman's wife died unexpectedly after taking an herbal remedy. Lori McClintock, 61, was the wife of US Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican from California. Her death has brought scrutiny to the unregulated dietary supplement industry.
What was the herbal remedy Lori McClintock was taking before she died? Her office declined to comment. A family statement posted on the congressman's Facebook page did not mention the cause of death. Some people drink the tea made from white mulberry leaves, while others take the leaf in the form of a liquid or capsule supplement.
Dehydration Due to Gastroenteritis
Last year, 61-year-old Lori McClintock died of dehydration and gastroenteritis due to an herb she ingested. Her illness likely resulted from white mulberry leaf ingestion. While the herb is normally promoted as an aid in controlling diabetes and weight loss, it has been linked to gastrointestinal problems. According to a coroner's report, the death was accidental.
The coroner's autopsy report found that Lori McClintock died of dehydration due to gastroenteritis. Although the coroner's office did not release the report immediately, it was released in July. It states that McClintock had "constant dehydration and hemorrhage due to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract."
After the death, a white mulberry leaf was found in her stomach. It's unknown whether she had eaten fresh or dried leaves or brewed a tea from them. The coroner's report, dated March 10, 2019, stated that Lori McClintock died of dehydration caused by gastroenteritis and the adverse effects of the white mulberry leaf. The coroner's autopsy also found high levels of sodium, nitrogen, and creatinine in her body. The coroner confirmed this by contacting multiple pathologists.
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Adverse Effects of White Mulberry Leaf Ingestion
It's unclear whether white mulberry leaf ingestion contributed to the death of Congressman McClintock. There's no coroner's report, and the coroner's office has refused to discuss the case. Experts in dietary supplements say the evidence is inconclusive. It's also unclear what else was in the supplement McClintock took.
The white mulberry leaf is a plant botanical that is used to make teas and weight-management supplements. It was used to treat Lori McClintock, the wife of a California congressman. Her death was ruled an accident, but the coroner report does not specify how she ingested it. The plant can be taken in pill form, as a tea, or as an extract.
The White Mulberry plant is not toxic, but it can cause some gastrointestinal problems. Some people experience gas, cramps, and bloating after ingesting it. However, these effects are typically mild. According to Kaitlyn Brown, clinical managing director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, mulberry leaf ingestion is relatively safe.