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The wife of a Republican congressman in California died in December from dehydration after ingesting the herbal remedy white mulberry leaf, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Lori McClintock, the 61-year-old wife of US Rep. Tom McClintock, died in December 2021 from dehydration due to gastroenteritis – an inflammation of the stomach and intestines – that was caused by “adverse effects of white mulberry leaf ingestion,” Kaiser Health News reported on Wednesday, citing a March 10 report from the Sacramento County coroner newly obtained by the outlet.

The coroner’s report ruled the death an accident and said a “partially intact” white mulberry leaf was found in Lori McClintock’s stomach, though it was not clear if she consumed the herbs via a dietary supplement, by ingesting fresh or dried leaves, or by drinking them in a tea.

According to Healthline, white mulberry leaf, especially rich in Vitamin C and iron, has been long used in natural medicine to treat various ailments, and some studies suggest it may block cancer cell growth and help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Healthline warned of possible allergic reactions.

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The herb, native to China, has also been linked to weight loss.

Lori McClintock and then-state Sen. Tom McClintock, in Sacramento, Oct. 7, 2003.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

At his wife’s funeral, McClintock told mourners that she had been “carefully dieting,” recently joined a gym, was enjoying a new job at a real estate office in Sacramento and had been busy wrapping gifts to “make it the best family Christmas ever. ” He said he spoke with his wife de ella the night before coming back from Washington, DC, to find her unresponsive the next day in their California home de ella. The coroner’s report said she had “complaints of an upset stomach” the day before her passing from her.

White mulberry leaf’s negative side effects also include nausea, diarrhea and sometimes dehydration.

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Fox News Digital did not immediately obtain a copy of the coroner’s report, autopsy report or amended death certificate containing an updated cause of death that Kaiser Health News obtained in July.

A request for comment sent to Rep. McClintock’s director of communications did not immediately receive a response Thursday.

Tom McClintock speaks to reporters with his wife Lori at California State University, Sacramento, on Sept.  24, 2003.

Tom McClintock speaks to reporters with his wife Lori at California State University, Sacramento, on Sept. 24, 2003.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Daniel Fabricant, CEO and president of the Natural Products Association who oversaw dietary supplements at the FDA during the Obama administration, told Kaiser Health News that suggesting McClintock’s death by dehydration is due to the white mulberry leaf found in her system would be “completely speculative. ”

“There’s a science to this. It’s not just what a coroner feels,” Fabricant said. “People unfortunately pass from dehydration every day, and there’s a lot of different reasons and a lot of different causes.”

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I have suggested that the family could voluntarily report her death to the FDA for a more thorough probe.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock speaks to reporters with his wife Lori, daughter Shannah and son Justin after participating in a debate at California State University, Sacramento, on Sept.  24, 2003.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock speaks to reporters with his wife Lori, daughter Shannah and son Justin after participating in a debate at California State University, Sacramento, on Sept. 24, 2003.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The FDA regulates dietary supplements, which are classified as foods and do not undergo as rigorous testing as pharmaceuticals. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., have been pushing for legislation to increase oversight of the dietary supplements market.

“Many people assume if that product is sold in the United States of America, somebody has inspected it, and it must be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always true,” Durbin said on the Senate floor this spring.

“Our family’s darkest day and most terrible nightmare has come. Lori is gone,” McClintock and the rest of Lori’s family said in a statement upon her passing eight months ago. “And with her de ella all the light, warmth, fun, friendship and love she brought everywhere she went and to everyone she met.”

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“We are devastated, and our world is shattered. Only those who knew her can understand the enormity of the tragedy of her passing for her family and many friends,” the statement continued. “Our only comfort is that her unbounded charity, goodness, and faith assures her eternal life in heaven, where she will surely watch over all who loved her and whom she loved. On behalf of our grieving family, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have offered so many kind memories and tributes in condolence. We will always love her ‘more than all the stars in the sky.'”

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