Lori McClintock, the late wife of a California congressman, Tom McClintock, died after taking a herbal remedy for weight loss, an autopsy has found.
The mother of two, was found dead in her home last December, and a coroner’s report has now confirmed that she died from the effects of ingesting white mulberry leaf.
Lori McClintock, 61, died of dehydration due to gastroenteritis, a common condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting as the stomach and intestines become inflamed.
The autopsy report revealed that at the time of her death, Lori McClintock’s stomach was inflamed because of ‘adverse effects of white mulberry leaf ingestion’ and her body had elevated levels of nitrogen, sodium, and creatinine — all signs of dehydration.
The leaves and fruit of the white mulberry tree is a Chinese herbal remedy sold across the US, with vendors claiming immune system benefits as well as lowering blood sugar levels and aiding weight loss.
It’s unclear if the politician’s wife took a dietary supplement containing white mulberry leaf, or whether she ate fresh or dried leaves, or drank them in a tea.
But the autopsy cites that a ‘partially intact’ white mulberry leaf was found in her stomach.
And the day before her tragic death, ‘she had complaints of an upset stomach.’
Mulberry leaf tea
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.