Are these ingredients harmful?
September 17, 2007 6:00 AM   Subscribe

Should I eat this "green drink" (consisting of powdered vegetables, tree bark, etc.) from Robert O. Young (the "Alkaline diet" guy)? Will it harm me? Ingredients are listed inside.

Yes, I know that from Innerlight is an MLM. And I know that the Alkaline diet is scientific rubbish. But my parents gave me a bunch of this "green drink" powder and asked me to try it. The ingredients all look natural, but I wanted to make sure there's no harm in consuming, for example, "slippery elm bark."

Here's the complete list of ingredients:

Kamut Grass, Barley Grass, Lemon Grass, Shavegrass, Wheat Grass, Alfalfa Leaf, Dandelion Leaf, Billberry Leaf, Black Walnut Leaf, Blackberry Leaf, Plantain Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf, Blueberry Leaf, Boldo Leaf, Goldenseal Leaf, Papaya Leaf, Strawberry Leaf, Lecithin, White Willow Leaf, Slippery Elm Bark, Marshmallow Root, Pau d'Arco, Cornsilk, Rosemary, Betatene, Rose Hip, Echinacea Purp Tops, Dog Grass, Meadowsweet, Aloe Whole Leaf Conc., Oat Grass, Soy Sprouts Con., Kale, Spinach, Okra, Cabbage, Celery, Parsley Leaf, Broccoli, Watercress, Alfalfa Juice Conc., Tumuric, Tomato, Peppermint Leaf, Spearmint Leaf, Wintergreen Leaf, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary Leaf.

Is there anything in there that I should be worried about consuming on a regular basis?

Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by gd779 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Off the top of my head I see nothing on there that would cause trouble if taking on a regular basis. The dandelion is a natural diuretic. That's about the only thing I see that would have an adverse effect if an effect at all. I am not a doctor.
posted by jaythebull at 6:06 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: That's a lot of ingredients, and it seems like it would be possible that you're allergic to one of them (I'm even less of a doctor than jaythebull is).
posted by box at 6:21 AM on September 17, 2007

That sounds like the worst salad ever, but it probably won't hurt you.
posted by electroboy at 6:25 AM on September 17, 2007

Every year or two when I'm in LA I buy a drink in Ralph's from the organic refrigerator that has a similar list of ingredients. It comes in a green plastic bottle, and the only extra ingredients it seems to have is various forms of algae. And.. it's delicious and it has had no bad side effects on me.
posted by wackybrit at 7:26 AM on September 17, 2007

I'd recommend that you be within easy distance of a bathroom for a few hours after you try it. That looks like the sort of thing that would go straight through.
posted by happyturtle at 7:26 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: Slippery elm bark is an herbal remedy which has been used for years by singers to reduce swelling of the vocal chords and lubricate the throat because of its high mucilage content. I've used it over the years myself to combat vocal fatigue. So far, so good. It's FDA approved, fwiw. All the other ingredients are herb leaves, grasses, root or tuber extracts or powders, or rhizomes (tumeric).

Think about it like this - everything on that list is natural, assuming they've used soy or egg lecithin and not synthetic lecithin, which I doubt they have. Whether or not this drink will act as some sort of grand dietary panacea for you is debateable, and you may initially poop like mad. Personally, none of those ingredients frighten me as much as the nutrition info on a pack of Twinkies or an over-the-counter cold and flu remedy, but that's me.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:28 AM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

I've never heard of some of the ingredients, but of the ones I have heard of, they seem harmless.

If I were you, I'd take the ingredient list into a good natural food store and ask them if the ingredients are safe.
posted by birdlady at 7:29 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: I think since Innerlight's primary reason for existence is to get other people to sell their snake oil, I doubt they'd put anything risky in there.

Think about it like this - everything on that list is natural

Natural doesn't really tell ya much though. Would you drink a smoothie of ground peach pits (with the likely fatal amount of cyanide)? A glass of hemlock juice? I wouldn't let the fact that it's a bunch of roots and leaves lull you into security. Scary as twinkies is a good way to put it.
posted by malphigian at 7:53 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

"It's a good thing for you this stuff don't work."
posted by electroboy at 8:30 AM on September 17, 2007

Same situation: a family member sent me some of this stuff. I keep it around for when I'm in exams and don't have time to eat real food. Can't really hurt if it's only occasionally.
posted by melissam at 9:35 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: "Dog grass" and black walnut leaf are the only ingredients I don't recognize. Everything else is definitely harmless, and in fact most of it's really quite good for you (not in a magic tonic kind of way, just in a really quite good for you kind of way).

If you're eating well as it is, no need to drink it all the time, really, but I would definitely break it out in times of stress, sleep deprivation, etc.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:10 AM on September 17, 2007

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