Quack Exposed: "Dr." Sebi


Alfredo Bowman otherwise known as Dr Sebi was born in 1933 in Honduras. He emigrated to the United States in order to be treated for asthma, diabetes, obesity and impotence. The treatments were unsuccessful. He was influenced by an herbalist in Mexico where Sebi claims to have healed him. Because of this he created his own herbal mixtures and called it "Dr. Sebi's Cell Food."

Legal Trouble

In 1987 he was sued for practicing medicine without a license. He was acquitted when the state could not prove he gave out medical diagnoses. 

After that the state of New York successfully sued him for consumer fraud. He was served a temporary restraining order that was granted on February 9, 1987 by Judge Kenneth Shorter. This restraining order forbade him from committing consumer fraud.  He was ordered to pay $900 and to cease from making disease related claims. 

This court case resulted in a permanent injunction which stated they are permanently forbade from claiming, orally or in writing, directly or by implication that his services or products can cure, mitigate, or in any way relieve or alter the course of AIDS, herpes, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lupus or any other human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition. 

It also stated he was not allowed to distribute or publish any advertisement, brochure or other printed matter or broadcasting any advertisement which claims directly or by implication that his service or products can cure, mitigate or in any way relieve or alter the course of AIDS, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lupus or any other human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition. 

In addition he was forbade from diagnosing, treating or prescribing for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition without a valid license to practice medicine issued by the New York State Department of Education. 

It also stated that he is forbidden to sell or otherwise distribute any product which are labeled otherwise advertised with claims regarding the product's ability either alone or in combination with other products or procedure, to aid in diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in humans or other animals. 

Lastly, he was ordered that Sebi to distribute a copy of the judgement to every person who works for him or performs any service for him in any capacity, either for pay or as a volunteer or as an independent contractor, whether currently or in the future. Sebi is also ordered to obtain a written receipt of a copy of the order from each of these people no later than 10 days after service of a copy of the judgement or within three days of an individual's first day in association with Sebi. 

Later, he was accused in Honduras of money laundering and was incarcerated until he died in 2016 from pneumonia. 

Dr Sebi's Search for Alkalinity 

Sebi's main belief was that alkaline foods and herbs, which are substances with a pH >7, are required to control the acid in the body. Maintaining an alkaline state protects the body from mucus buildup, which causes disease. He touted the coronation of alkalinity as the long awaited savior. This reveals a grave misunderstanding of the human body. 

Human blood pH cannot be significantly altered. Blood contains molecules of carbonic acid and sodium bicarbonate which keep the pH between 7.35 and 7.45. If pH is higher than that, the patient can become very ill and even die. This high school level science content did not stop Sebi from selling a wide collection of herbal extracts. 

Disclaimer on the site: 

*Disclaimer: We are not medical doctors. We do not diagnose illness or prescribe pharmaceuticals. We are nutritional consultants and make suggestions relating to nutrition. None of the information offered here is intended to replace any program that your chosen health professional has prescribed for you. Consult with your healthcare professional before adopting new nutritional regimens.

Restrictive Diet

There is no scientific evidence to support the Dr. Sebi Diet. He encouraged people to eat whole foods and avoid processed food. This diet is restrictive and may not include important nutrients. It has been known to cause a deficiency in vitamin B 12, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids, 

The Dr Sebi diet includes:
  • vegetables including avocado, kale, bell peppers and wild arugula
  • fruits including apples, bananas, dates and seville oranges
  • grains including rye, wild rice, spelt and quinoa
  • oils including avocado, hempseed, coconut, and olive oils. The diet advises cooking in coconut and hemp seed oil
  • nuts and seeds including hemp and raw sesame seeds, tahini butter and walnuts
  • herbal teas including chamomile, fennel, and ginger
  • natural sweeteners including agave syrup and date sugar
  • spices including cayenne and powdered seaweed

African Bio-mineral Balance Compounds

Sebi's Cell Food products, or otherwise known as African Bio-mineral Balance Compounds) are made of herbs, algae and seaweeds. His products are still being sold today but there is an unsettling warning. 

"Dr. Sebi's Original and Unique formulas are proprietary and may contain ingredients not listed here"

If one paid attention to the ingredients, there are a lot of repeated ingredients. It seems like they cannot make up their minds on what they do. 

Product list (side effects of each ingredient is linked):

Testo ($50) is claimed to boost testosterone and enhances sexual virility. Ingredients: sarsaparilla, yohimbe, locust bark, capadulla (no scientific info available) , irish sea moss, nopal, muira puama. 



Iron Plus ($50) is supposed to support the blood and immune system. Ingredients: Elderberry, chaparral, blue vervain, hombre grande (same as quassia), palo guaco (no scientific data available) , bugleweed, cardo santo, quassia chips


Bio Ferro Tonic ($25) Claims to cleanse the blood and support the immune system. Ingredients:  Elderberrychaparral, Burdock root, yellow dock, cocolmeca (no scientific data available), muicle, blue vervain, encinco (no scientific data available)



Banju ($50) is supposed to cleanse the brain and nervous system. Ingredients:Elderberry,  blue vervainBurdock root, valerian rootbugleweedyellow dock

Viento ($50) is supposed to energize, cleanse and revitalize. Ingredients: chaparralbladderwrack, valeriana, hierba del sapo,  blue vervain, flor de manita, guaco, tila

Hair Food Oil ($18) is supposed to nourish the scalp and help hair grow stronger. Ingredients:olive oil, batana (no scientific data available) , coconut oil, french vanilla 

Body Care Salve ($25) is claimed to nourish skin, promote elasticity and retain moisture. Ingredients: Shea butter, prickly ash bark, lily of the valley, olive oil, arnica, sage, eucalyptus, manzo (no scientific data available) , lupulo, red clover, blue vervain, lavender, mandrake, bayberry, african bird, peppermint, wintergreen, tea tree oil, nopal

Estro ($50) is supposed to support female reproductive health and hormonal balance. Ingredients: hydrangea, damianasarsaparillairish sea mossred clover, muicle (no scientific data available), blue vervainmuira puama, abuta



Bio Ferro Capsuls ($50) supposed to cleanse and nourish the blood, supporting the immune system. Ingredients: chaparralBurdock rootnettlenopalyellow dock, muicle (no scientific data available), irish sea moss, cascara sagradablue vervain


Tooth Powder ($25) is supposed to take care of oral health and is supposed to replace toothpaste. Ingredients: myrrh gum powder, encino (no scientific data available but search indicates it might be dental botox), cuachalalate


Bromide Plus Powder ($30) is supposed to provide plant based antioxidants and minerals. Ingredients: irish sea mossbladderwrack

Immune Support Tea ($39.99) is supposed to have healing powers of elderberry. Ingredients: Elderberry

Uterine wash and oil ($25) is supposed to promote healthy female reproductive organs, vaginally. Uterine wash Ingredients: lupuloarnicasageprickly ash barkbayberryred cloverblue vervain,  manzo (no scientific data available), contribo (no scientific data available) Uterine oil ingredient: tea tree oil


Cold Relief Tea ($11.99) is supposed to be a natural herbal relief of gordolobo to provide a quick relief from cold and flu. Ingredients: gordolobo


Eye wash ($25) is supposed to cleanse, nourish and soothe tired eyes. Ingredients: eyebright, prodigiosa

Stomach Relief Tea ($24.99) is supposed to alleviate digestive pain and renal discomfort. Ingredients: cuachalalate


Stress relief tea ($29.99) is supposed to be a caffeine free aid for relief and relaxation. Ingredients: chamomile

Green Food Plus ($50) is supposed to be a mutimineral formula that feeds the immune system. Ingredients: nettlechaparraltilanopalbladderwrackirish sea mosslily of the valleyblue vervain

Herbal Energy Tea ($19.50) is supposed to optimize the body's energy levels. Ingredients: Muicle (no scientific data available)

Blood Pressure Tea ($15.99) is supposed to provide nutritional and regulatory support for the cardiovascular system. Ingredients: flor de manita

Bromide plus capsules ($30) are supposed to provide vital nutrition for an alkaline lifestyle. ingredients: irish sea mossbladderwrack


Sources:

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/quackery/dr-sebi-what-do-we-make-him

https://drsebiscellfood.com/collections/shop

https://drsebiscellfood.com/pages/method/

https://quackwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/quackwatch/casewatch/ag/ny/usha/consent_1988.pdf

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327399#recipes


Comments

  1. Just an FYI, this is the same guy that Connie Manning says that her son follows. She used to talk about how her son followed his program religiously on her page "Conversations with Chevy."

    I unfortunately used to follow her page a couple of years ago before I learned how despicable of a person she is! I even bought several things from Calmwear like a year ago 🤦🏼‍♀️ (a vest, socks, and a sheet cover). The products themselves are pretty good except I was suspicious that it took about 2 months to arrive [I ordered it during the beginning days of the pandemic and Calmwear stated that their products were coming from NZ, so I wasn't as concerned about the lengthy delivery back then as I am now that I know what type of person "Connie" is].

    My heart goes out to Chevy. He doesn't deserve any of the bull his mother puts him through!

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