Following the recently-reported news that oleandrin, an extract of the oleander plant, may combat COVID-19, the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) issued a concerned warning about oleander, raising the alarm about the plant’s substantial toxicity. All parts of the plant contain a poisonous chemical called oleandrin, also known as cardiac glycoside, that can cause serious side effects to the heart, including death. Oleander has recently been promoted as a potential treatment for COVID-19. “With respect to oleander, all parts of the plant are highly toxic, dangerous, and life-threatening when ingested. Consumers should not, ever, try to make a home-made remedy from or self-treat with oleander,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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