A herbalist who told the parents of a diabetic boy to ditch his insulin in favour of lavender oil has been jailed after the 13-year-old died due to medical complications.
Timothy Morrow, 84, told Madrigal and Delfino Lopez Solis that insulin was ‘poison’ and that their son Edgar’s type one diabetes could be treated by herbs being rubbed into his spine.
When the teenager experienced difficulty breathing and struggled to keep food down, Morrow also advised that they shouldn’t take him to hospital, telling them that he was going through a ‘healing crisis’.
Edgar died the next day.
Morrow, who founded company Common Sense Herbs, has previously made claims that he cured his own cancer through herbal treatment.
He first started ‘treating’ Edgar after his mother went along to one of his talks, advising her to stop using insulin and switch to herbs, such as lavender, which could be bought on his website.
Edgar became ill almost immediately – and when his family asked Morrow if he could be taken to hospital he advised them against it.
‘He told us that if we took the child to the hospital, he would get killed there,’ his father told the jury during Morrow’s two-week trial, KABC reports.
The court was told that Madrigal, had been ‘brainwashed’ by the herbalist and refused to give her son his insulin even when he asked for it.
‘On my last call [to Morrow], my son was telling him, may I call 911, may I call 911?’ she told the jury.
‘My son could not breathe anymore.’
The jury heard that Morrow, from Torrance, California, had said no.
Edgar’s mother had been a long-term user of herbal remedies, and frequently relied on them while growing up in Mexico, the court heard.
The defence said that all the herbs ‘prescribed’ by Morrow had the warning on the label: ‘This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease’.
But he had described pancreatic regeneration protein, ‘pancreas reg’, as ‘God’s insulin’ and advised Edgar’s mother that it could be used instead of the real thing, jurors heard.
Morrow was sentenced to four months in jail for practising medicine without a license, as well as one count of child abuse likely to produce great bodily injury or death.
He was also ordered to pay $5,000 to the victim’s family for funeral costs.