Are All Herbs Toxic – The Renegade Health Show Episode #488

Thursday Jan 21 | BY |
| Comments (20)


Are they all toxic?

Today, I address this question as well as what we feed Jonny 5 (our cat) and if coconut oils is good for all skin types.

Take a look…

Your question of the day: None! We’re still working on fixing the blog!

If you want to check out Annmarie’s Coconut Body Oil for your skin, click here!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Isabelle says:

    Please! people get real! cat are true carnivores & that’s the way it is. Cats will die if not fed meat or fish. You cannot make a cat vegan. It will die. It is the same thing as what the meat industry does to cattle which are herbivores and are fed grain. That is why they are all sick and on antibiotics…difference with cats is that they are slaughtered before they die from faulty feeding (and then all those meateaters out there then wonder why they are getting sick themselves….duh….
    As for dry skin, stop using SOAP. There are wonderful soapless gels available that do not contain soap and which will not dry out your skin. I had dry skin for my entire life until I tried a soapless gel and now my skin is fabulous….

  2. Jackie says:

    Kevin is correct about the diet for cats , and the same goes for dogs .
    They should not be on a 100% vegetable diet .
    They truley are carnivores .
    Herbs ? I have read over and over again that Turmeric is an herb that has so many health benefits, that most people should be taking it in a daily basis ! , however, not if you are on a blood thinner type medicine .
    Check out Turmeric, it has fantastic attributes .

  3. Jane says:

    Cats need taurine in their diet and this is only available naturally, as I understand it, in animal offal products. There is an excellent product called Instincts ( that you can mix with raw meat that ensures your cat will get all the nutrients it needs. I have two cats, one 16 years old the other 14, and after changing their diet to raw meat with Instincts and a small addition of a high quality cat food (helps keep the cost down and means its easier for other people to cat sit when neceessary) they have turned into a couple of spring chickens, so to speak! I make the food up in batches and freeze it. Instincts is a product that is for use with raw meat when you are not including bones in their diet. Taking the step to preparing my cats raw meat dishes was a big enough step to take without also starting to grind up bones!
    The one downside to this way of eating for cats is cost.

  4. Beth says:

    Cats sure do need their animal meat & fish. We don’t feed our 2 cats raw food, but we do feed them a high end grain-free wet canned food. They have showed great improvement since making the switch 4 years ago. Most people (including the vet) thinks they are about 7 years old – and they are 13 and 14 🙂

    Interesting philosophy about the herbs. I haven’t come across that before.

  5. Jacquie says:

    My two cents worth: My cat eats a BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet. I’ve used Primal Foods frozen raw food and Nature’s Variety frozen raw food. My cat’s coat is gorgeously thick and lustrous, she’s quit biting at her tail area/legs/paws like she used to on a dry food diet. She is in picture-perfect health at the age of 20 months. For more info, people might want to check out and click on the healthy pets tab. Dr. Becker, a holistic vet, has a LOT of great info there.

    Regarding herbs, I love them and will continue to eat them. I believe the toxic air pollution, polluted water, etc. will get me long before any herbs do. 🙂

    Regarding coconut oil for all skin types, I’d like to add this to what Kevin said as I do make my own skin care. Oils that are great for oily skin are coconut, jojoba, and sesame oils. Oils that are great for dry skin are almond, apricot kernal, wheat germ, avocado oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. When I make my body butter for dryer skin during the winter, I add more cocoa butter, shea butter, almond oil, etc. to my coconut oil (butter) base. During the summer when my skin is less dry, I generally stick to coconut oil mixed with jojoba oil for my oilier skin. I hope this is helpful. 🙂

    Kevin, thanks for continuing to be the inspiration for my day!

  6. jasmyn says:

    Hey you two:) Hope your day is great

  7. Kristen says:

    Kevin, Thank you for addressing the topic of herbs and I appreciate you taking the time to discuss the issues. It makes sense to me that rotating or not over consuming anything one food would be optimal and that herbs used for specific purposes would have healthy benefits.

    I’m glad you brought up the topic of raw pet food. I am using Primal Pet Food’s raw food (available at Whole Foods so it’s convenient for me). It’s packed with a lot of great ingredients, no grains, almond meal, coconut oil, flaxseed, kelp, spirulina, blueberries, kale, etc. My only beef with the product is that they don’t use 100% grass fed animals….their animals are grain “finished” and their fowl animals are grain fed. It took my young dog a while to get use to it – the first couple days she would dance around and bark at it, then she started licking it, now she voraciously eats it. I’m excited to see if raw food can make her live a longer life. Just can’t get my older cat to make the transition.

  8. Joan says:

    I use herbs for medicinal purposes – not daily use…echinacea and golden seal come out when feeling a bit stuffy or like a cold is coming on – nips it!

    And yes, cats are carnivores, so need the meat, unlike humans which thrive on plant life!

    Have a great day!

  9. Aaron says:

    what is optimal pet health? I agree that just like humans they should eat what they would in nature. Dogs and cats are both carnivores and scavengers. when i had cats they were always the healthiest when they ate mostly moths grassshoppers mice and birds.
    carnivores and enzymes. pets on a cooked food or vegan diet simply dont get the enzymes to properly digest thier food. hence why they get the same diseases as humans, arthritis, lukemia, urinary infections etc. pets in order to get some enzymes will recycle them by eating thier own feces. studies have been done proving rats can live just as long on a cooked food diet because they recycle thier enzymes. animals in nature always go for the enzymes first, inards rotting etc. think of how we crave ripened fruit ! same thing.

  10. Genevieve says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I also feed my cat grain-free foods such as the Wellness canned, and Merrick’s dried. She won’t eat much raw food except that which she would catch herself!! I now put a collar with a jingle bell on her when she goes outside and remove it when she comes in so it doesn’t drive her and us bananas. It works! Last summer she did not catch any birds, but still caught moles though. Not sure if they are deaf.

    I love herbs and have grown many myself for the past 25 years or so. I dry some and freeze others for winter use.

  11. Michael says:

    Carnivores are need some greens; in fact, lions died in Artis (Amsterdam zoo) in the early days. They precluded the stomach of the prey, which hold some greens. Anyway, I think we should look at the big picture, carnivores are important for the delicate balance of nature.

  12. Marilyn Zink says:

    No, herbs are not all toxic.
    Most of them have wonderful beneficial purposes. Even a simply culinary herb like parsley is loaded with minerals like calcium, nagnesium and Vitamin C, a and K.
    Medicinal herbs should be taken for a specific purpose over a specific time.
    These herbs will work at the cellular level to heal the body.
    Stimulant herbs like echinacea and oil of oregano should not be taken on a daily basis, only as needed.
    Hope this helps.

  13. Lolita says:

    I am not sure we want to throw out 1000’s of years of Chinese medicine to avoid the use of herbs. Chinese medicine has many valuable treatments and theories about health and disease.

  14. I’m with Isabelle and Jackie on the Cat thing. Cats and Dogs are apart of the TRUE CANIVORE SPECIES. Their entire digestive system starting with their teeth structure is set up for ripping, shredding, and eating of meat. Like our Digestive structure is similar to Horses and Cows starting with our teeth structure to eat fruit and veggies. Just the way it is. My cat always gets the mouse in the house. He’s a good little hunter. I wish he ate the whole thing though. I hate having to pick up his leftovers. Ick! If Humans didn’t find out how to capture fire we could never have eaten meet. Are we really smart? lol!

  15. Mathilde says:

    What is exactly the definition of herbs? When can you consider a plant an ‘herb’ and when is it just greens?
    Parsley is an excellent source of nutrients as well as coriander…
    Is fennel an herb or a green or a vegetable?

    Regarding the cats they are carnivores but I have often seen cats (even stay cats) eat grasses…

    Thank you for all the informations!

  16. Veronika says:

    Yes, cats are definitely carnivores. Regarding the reader comments on dogs: Domestic dogs are sometimes classified as omnivores. See this wiki article on dogs for details:

    “Unlike an obligate carnivore, such as a member of the cat family with its shorter small intestine, a dog is neither dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill its basic dietary requirements. Dogs are able to healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet. In the wild, canines often eat available plants and fruits.[2]”

  17. Eileen says:

    YES cats are carnivores – “obligate carnivores”, actually, who should only eat whole prey. (This includes contents of their prey’s stomachs, yes… not sure about how cat grass fits in, it seems improtant to them but my cat pukes after, so…?)

    DOGS however are omnivores – this is why you see a lot of berries in coyote scat, they eat what they can find.

    The health consequences of taking cats off their whole-raw-prey diet can be easily seen in the phenomenon of FELINE DIABETES. My cat, like many others, nearly died from it – until I started feeding him WHOLE (fur, bones, organs and all)ground rabbit. It literally 100% cured the diabetes. But when I tried to vary his diet with some regular cat food, his diabetes was back after just a couple meals (his blood sugar was 300-450; normal is less than 140).

    And yes, feeding cats biologically correct food does turn back the clock!

  18. Laura says:

    If you’d like to keep the kill ratio of birds and mice down of your cat (here’s what we do).

    Put a collar on him with TWO bells. This creates enough sound to create warning for the animals the cat is stalking. With two bells, it’s difficult for the cat to be quiet.

    I’ve seen our cat get a little critter once since since we started using the extra bell, (which I was able to save) but I haven’t seen him able to catch a bird since we added the extra bell.

    Give it a try.

  19. jasmine says:

    Who are we to deny our cats their natural instincts of hunting?

  20. Simone says:

    @Eileen – Cats eat grass to help expel all the indigestible matter they eat, like the hair they swallow when cleaning their coats. Eating grass is instinctive behavior. The grass helps regurgitate what cannot be digested… like fur balls!

    About the question what diet cats should be eating, I agree that they are carnivores. Like Kev said, they go out hunting and eat what they catch (if they are not stuffed with canned cat food and just hunt because their instinct tells them to). Having said that, Ani Phyo feeds her dog nothing but a raw vegan diet and her vet said the dog is super healthy and strong. The dog seems to love the food. I guess we have to decide for ourselves what we feed our pets… but don’t starve them if they refuse to eat the veggie food 😉

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