Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Aug 26

Killed by herbal remedy: California Rep Tom McClintock’s realtor wife Lori, 61, died after taking Chinese herbal WEIGHT LOSS treatment white mulberry leaf, autopsy finds

  • Tom McClintock’s wife Lori died in December 2021 at her home in Sacramento 
  • Her autopsy reveals she suffered severe dehydration caused by gastroenteritis
  • Lori had consumed white mulberry leaf not long before she died 
  • The Chinese herb is used for weight loss and to manage diabetes, but it is not FDA-approved as a supplement 
  • It can be purchased online or in drug stores as tea, powder or pills 
  • There is an ongoing push to enforce stricter regulation of the health supplement industry – worth a reported $54billion 
  • White mulberry leaf can aid weight loss by reducing sugar and carb cravings 
  • Lori seems to have had a reaction to it which caused her gastroenteritis  

California congressman Tom McClintock’s wife Lori died of dehydration which was caused by a herbal weight loss treatment, a coroner has found.

Lori, 61, died in December last year from extreme dehydration that was brought on by white mulberry leaf. It triggered severe gastroenteritis which caused Lori to suffer diarrhea and vomiting.

It’s unclear if the politician’s wife took a dietary supplement containing white mulberry leaf or if she drank a diet tea containing the leaf as an ingredient, but a ‘partially intact’ leaf was still in her stomach when she died, the autopsy read.

Lori had been trying to lose weight and had also joined a gym before her death on December 15, 2021.

Her autopsy report says her death was caused by ‘dehydration due to gastroenteritis due to adverse effects of white mulberry leaf ingestion.’

Her death underscores the dangers of herbal and weight loss supplements, a vast but scarcely regulated industry worth some $54billion in the US.

It remains unconfirmed where Lori purchased the white mulberry leaf. It is known to aid weight loss by staving off sugar and carb cravings.

In April, Senators Dick Durbin and Mike Braun proposed a bill that would enforce FDA approval of dietary supplements.

Currently, the FDA oversees some of the industry but companies do not need its approval to market dietary products or supplements.


Mulberry leaf tea is often used as a dietary supplement and as a treatment for diabetes.

The leaf extract slows down the absorption of glucose, helping the body keep blood-sugar levels low in a similar way to medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes.

It is also used to treat the common cold, and many other conditions, but there is little scientific evidence that it treats such ailments.

The leaf grows on shrubs or trees in China, displaying a fruit similar to a blackberry and is commonly eaten by silkworms.

The FDA approved the use of white mulberry leaf Reducose in 2019.

Reducose is classified as a food ingredient so requires FDA approval.

It however only contains the water extract from a white mulberry leaf – and is not the entire leaf itself.

The FDA does not generally approve dietary supplements, which has prompted calls for more regulation in the industry.

Among those calling for that law to change are Senators Dick Durbin and Senator Mike Braun.

Braun and Durbin say it creates a danger for consumers, many of whom assume the products are safe when they are not.

McClintock’s family has not yet commented on the results of her autopsy.

White Mulberry Leaf is can be ingested in a pill or as a powder.

It is also commonly brewed as herbal tea, and it’s often used to treat diabetes.

The leaf works by slowing down the body’s absorption of glucose.

McClintock, 66, was returning from Washington DC, after voting in Congress the night before.

He found his wife unresponsive in their Elk Grove home on December 15, 2021.

In a statement at the time, he said: ‘Our family’s darkest day and most terrible nightmare has come.

‘Lori is gone.’

Dr. D’Michelle DuPre, a former forensic pathologist in South Carolina, said that hite mulberry leaves ‘do tend to cause dehydration, and part of the uses for that can be to help someone lose weight, mostly through fluid loss, which in this case was just kind of excessive.’

Teas and herbal remedies used for weight loss can cause dehydration as they make your bowels move more frequently, removing additional water retained in the body.

If the person is then not re-hydrating, they risk organ failure linked to being dehydrated.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there have been no deaths from the white mulberry plant reported in the last 10 years.

McClintock, a member of the republican party, ran as the governor of California on the 2003 recall election, and for lieutenant governor in the 2006 election.

Approximately 148 people reported white mulberry plant ingestion to poison control officials nationally, mostly in cases where children had ingested it, according to the AAPCC.

Dietary supplements and herbal remedies is a $54billion industry, according to the Council of Responsible Nutrition.

The same source says around 80 percent of Americans use dietary supplements.

Source: Daily Mail

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.