Many of us assume that because a treatment is natural, it is 100% safe for use. Unfortunately, this is not the case and this misinformation has now cost a woman her life.
Jade Erick Dies from Turmeric Infusion
Jade Erick, who was 30 years old at the time of her death, was suffering from itchy, painful eczema. Described as a beautiful free-spirit by her friends, Jade had a keen interest in holistic health. This prompted her to visit a holistic health practitioner in her town of Encinitas, California, in hopes that she would be given something to naturally manage her eczema flare-ups. (1)
Her practitioner, who’s name has not been released to the public, prescribed an intravenous turmeric solution. Jade had an adverse reaction to it, possibly due to some other potential allergies, that caused her to have a heart attack. (1)
Medicinal Turmeric: Is it Safe?
Turmeric is safe to use as a spice in food and recipes, and it is safe to use in supplemental form under the direction of a certified health care practitioner. Mark Stengler, a naturopathic doctor in California who prescribes turmeric supplements to his patients, assures us that turmeric is safe to take orally, both in food and supplement form. (1)
While turmeric is natural and safe for most people to use, check with your doctor and use caution before taking a turmeric supplement, as some adverse side effects can occur:
Gastric Upset: Turmeric is a fantastic digestive aid, however large doses can cause stomach problems such as gas, stomach pain, indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. (2)
Stomach Ulcers: Long-term use can cause stomach ulcers to develop. (2)
Gallbladder problems: Though some claim turmeric will help with your gallbladder, it can actually make exisiting gallbladder problems worse. (2)
Blood Clotting: Turmeric can slow blood clotting which is of special concern to those already on blood thinners. (2)
Pregnancy: Turmeric supplements should not be taken when pregnant as they can stimulate the uterus to induce menstruation. (2)
Allergic reactions: If you are allergic to ginger or yellow food coloring, you will likely also be allergic to turmeric. This can cause contact dermatitis (hives), or anaphylaxis when consumed in those with strong allergies. (2)
“It’s a natural, safe way to help people with pain and inflammation,” he assures, but warns that IV turmeric hasn’t been researched fully yet.”There are some doctors who use Turmeric extract in IV form to try and heighten the physiological effects, so the anti-inflammatory effects of the turmeric…It hasn’t been well studied. It’s more theoretical, so it’s more investigational.” (1)
A safe method of getting all the benefits of turmeric is with a Turmeric Extract Powder. Curcumin is a derivative of tumeric. A natural antioxidant, it has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit overall health.
Know Your Doctor
Dr. Mark Stengler is licensed under the State of California as a natural practitioner and is therefore able to use the term naturopathic doctor, however not all practitioners are licensed. This means it is crucial that you make sure the practitioner you are seeing is licensed to be giving advice and selling prescriptions.
The Bottom Line: Normally, intravenous turmeric is in a solution, however in Jade’s case this remains unclear, and it may have been a much more highly concentrated dose. Whether you are receiving a treatment from any practitioner, be them a medical doctor or naturopathic doctor, you should always do your research before hand and ask plenty of questions. Even if a treatment is “natural” it can still have side effects and consequences for your health.
10 Questions to Ask The Doctor or Naturopath Before Treatment
When choosing a doctor and health care practitioner, is important that you ask pertinent questions and ensure that they have your values and best interests in mind always. Read this article for steps to take when choosing your doctor and building your health care team. Once you’ve chosen your doctor, ask the following questions before starting any new treatments:
What is the disease or condition?
How will it effect your home and work life?
How serious is it, what is the prognosis, and what is/are the potential causes?
Could there be more than one condition causing your symptoms and should you be tested for them?
What tests exist for the condition and what do the test results mean/tell you?
What symptoms should you be watching for and what precautions should you take (possible drug interactions, foods or activities that could trigger and cause flare-ups, etc)?
What are your treatment options?
What is the length, cost, side effects, risks, and benefits of each treatment method?
What would happen if you were not to receive treatment or delay treatment?
What things should you be avoiding during treatment?
Remember, it is always in your right to ask for a second or third opinion, or go out and seek one on your own. If your practitioner suggests a form of treatment that you have read about and have questions, ask. If you are uncomfortable with a treatment, your practitioner should work with you, not against you, to find the solution that is best for you.
Our hearts go out to Jade Erick and her family and loved ones. Please share her story to spread awareness and remind people to always ask questions and do their research, even for natural treatment options.