What to Know If Seeking Care from a Herbalist

Playing Diabetic Teen Dies after Treatment from Herbalist?

Some people chose to put their faith into healers as opposed to taking the more traditional western medicine route. The Doctors warn viewers that sometimes, that choice could be deadly. They share the story of a 13-year-old boy who died after a California herbalist reportedly advised he treat his diabetes with herbs instead of insulin. 

Watch: 'Fifty Shades' of Medicine?

The herbalist reportedly advised the parents who had a prescription for their son to use insulin, that the insulin was poison and they should instead rub lavender oil on his spine and use a herbal product for his pancreas. The boy died, weighing only 68 pounds, of a cardiac arrest and the medical examiner had said he would have survived if given proper care.

If you decide to try alternative medicine, keep these three things in mind.

#1: Do your research.
If you forgo the traditional route, look into the background of your healer. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork warns that many of them are charlatans. If the person you are trusting tells you something, see if there are scientific studies that back it up as safe and effective.

#2: Beware of providers who don't want you to interact with other healthcare professionals.
Dr. Travis explains many people are educated in one field of practice yet they operate outside their lane. If you go to a healer who tries to block you from seeking the advice of other providers, "walk away," says Dr. Travis.

Watch: Can Activated Charcoal Supplements Interfere with Birth Control?

#3: Share all medications, both prescription and natural, with healthcare providers.
Both the herbalist and your doctor should know about any and all medications and supplements you are taking to avoid any negative interactions. 

Sign up for Our Newsletter!