The Life and Mysterious Death of Dr Sebi Who Claimed To Cure AIDS

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Pathologist, herbalist, and naturalist, Dr Sebi – also known as Alfredo Bowman – was a spiritual teacher who didn’t believe in using ‘chemically’ made medicine, and believed that natural herbal remedies could cure anything. Growing up on the island of ‘Honduras’, Sebi never really liked school, and so he never attended. He said in the documentary ‘Eat to Live’, “If I had of gone to school, I would have become a medical scientist. I wouldn’t have been able to cure AIDS, because they do not. They don’t cure AIDS. If I had of listened to all of the philosophies of Europe, I would have never been able to find the answer to the cure of diseases”. Although Sebi never went to school, he spent some time being a merchant seaman and an engineer, and later enjoyed success as an intracellular therapist and herbalist, and he may not have a degree but he has a certificate of healing.


Dr Sebi stuck to an alkaline diet that consisted of; vegetables without starch, plain ripe fruit, leafy greens, raw nuts and certain grains. You can see Dr Sebi’s list of recommended alkaline foods below;


  • Amaranth greens – same as Callaloo, a variety of Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus – (removed)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chayote (Mexican Squash)
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • Green Banana – (added)
  • Izote – cactus flower/ cactus leaf- grows naturally in California
  • Jicama – (removed)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (all, except Iceberg)
  • Mushrooms (all, except Shitake)
  • Mustard greens (removed)
  • Nopales – Mexican Cactus
  • Okra (removed)
  • Olives (and olive oil)
  • Onions
  • Purslane (Verdolaga) – (added)
  • Poke salad -greens
  • Sea Vegetables (wakame/dulse/arame/hijiki/nori)
  • Squash
  • Spinach – (removed)
  • String beans – (removed)
  • Tomato – cherry and plum only
  • Tomatillo
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress – (added)
  • Zucchini


(No canned fruits or Seedless fruits)

  • Apples
  • Bananas – the smallest one or the Burro/mid-size (original banana)
  • Berries – all varieties- Elderberries in any form – no cranberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes -seeded
  • Limes (key limes preferred with seeds)
  • Mango
  • Melons -seeded
  • Orange (Seville or sour preferred, difficult to find )
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prickly Pear (Cactus Fruit) – (added)
  • Prunes
  • Raisins -seeded
  • Soft Jelly Coconuts (and coconut oil)
  • Soursops – (Latin or West Indian markets)
  • Sugar apples (chermoya) – (removed)
  • Tamarind – (added)

Nuts & Seeds

(Includes nut & seed butters)

  • Brazil Nuts – (added)
  • Hemp Seed (added)
  • Hazelnuts – (removed)
  • Pine Nuts – (added)
  • Raw Almonds and Almond butter- (removed)
  • Raw Sesame Seeds
  • Raw Sesame “Tahini” Butter
  • Walnuts


(New Section added by Dr. Sebi) Minimize the use of oils.

  • Olive Oil (Do not cook)
  • Coconut Oil (Do not cook)
  • Grapeseed Oil (added)
  • Sesame Oil (added)
  • Hempseed Oil (added)
  • Avocado Oil (added)

Spices – Seasonings

  • Achiote
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Cayenne – African Bird Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Coriander
  • Cumin (removed)
  • Dill
  • Habanero (added)
  • Marjoram (removed)
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Parsley (added)
  • Powdered Granulated Seaweed (Kelp/Dulce/Nori – has “sea taste”)
  • Pure Sea Salt
  • Sage
  • Savory (added)
  • Sweet Basil (added)
  • Sweet Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme


  • 100% Pure Agave Syrup – (from cactus)
  • Date “Sugar – (from dried dates)
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup – Grade B recommended – (removed from list by Dr. Sebi)
  • Maple “Sugar” (from dried maple syrup) – (removed from list by Dr. Sebi)

Alkaline Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Black Rice – (removed from list by Dr. Sebi)
  • Fonio – (added by Dr. Sebi)
  • Kamut
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Tef
  • Wild Rice

Natural Herbal Teas

  • Alvaca
  • Anise
  • Chamomile
  • Cloves
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Lemon grass
  • Red Raspberry
  • Sea Moss Tea

Those who follow an alkaline diet usually believe that certain foods can alter the acidity and pH levels of someone’s urine or blood. Sebi separated foods in to six categories; live, raw, dead, hybrid, genetically modified or drugs. His diet mainly included live and raw foods, that he called ‘electric foods’. Sebi  believed that alkaline foods healed the body from acidic foods such as: meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, seafood, alcohol, sugar, iodized salt, processed food and any fried food. He also avoided foods with added vitamins and minerals because they weren’t natural.

Our natural body state is alkaline (between 7.35 and 7.45). Diseases such as cancer are dormant at 7.4 and cancer cells die at 8.5. However, it may be considered healthier to have more of a balance between the alkaline and acidic pH levels in your body. If the bodies pH levels are too acidic, a condition called acidosis could become present and if the bodies fluids are too alkaline, alkalosis could develop. So strictly following an alkaline diet doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthier for you.


Dr Sebi didn’t believe in eating anything that was unnatural and man-made and he believed that any food that was acidic was bad for our body. However, in his list of recommended foods, there are some fruits and vegetables that have a low pH, making them acidic. But the general consensus is, that although certain foods are acidic before they are eaten, they turn alkaline once they are metabolized in your body, so they are considered alkaline. This is because of the minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc.) contained in the food that mix with our blood, thus producing an alkalizing result.

However, chemist and science blogger, from ‘Oxfordshire’, ‘England’, Kat Day told website Live Strong that the general consensus is not supported by science, claiming, that an acidic food can never alkalize a person’s body. Other scientists also support Day’s claim. Day said that foods are not known to change a person’s pH level. On the other hand certain foods can affect the acidity level of your urine, which helps get rid of too much acid in the body.

Being a vegan has really opened my eyes to the nutritional aspect of food. I usually take a food supplement so I get my B12, since it can only be found naturally in animal products. B12 is important for the functioning of the brain and the nervous system, as well as the development of red blood cells. When looking at Sebi’s diet there are many important food groups not included in Sebi’s recommendations, because of them being acidic. So, although the diet appears healthy – because of consuming natural unprocessed plant-based foods, fruits and vegetables – the essential amino acids that our body needs to help the function of organs, glands, tendons and arteries etc are not included.

Because Sebi also didn’t believe in consuming anything unnatural, supplements for B12 and other vitamins and minerals wouldn’t be allowed on his diet. This could result in many being deficient in B12 as well as the amino acids our body requires. However, on Sebi’s website there are herbal remedies made from natural ingredients, that are recommended for bones, the nervous system, detoxing the liver and blood etc.

According to Sebi, it is the buildup of mucus that causes diseases, not the germs and that by going on his strictly alkaline diet, the diseases can be cured. Sebi said, “Our research reveals that all manifestations of disease finds it’s genesis when and where the mucous membrane has been compromised. For example, if there is excess mucous in the bronchial tubes, the disease is bronchitis; if it is in the lungs, the disease is pneumonia; in the pancreatic duct, it is diabetes; in the joints, arthritis.”

However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that by cleansing the mucus from our bodies, that the diseases will be cured. Since Sebi is not medically trained, there is only anecdotal evidence, not any clinical test results. Sebi claimed to be able to cure AIDS, cancer, diabetes and even blindness, because of his natural herbal remedies and alkaline diet.

Alternative medical practitioners have also said that sticking to an alkaline diet can prevent diseases such as: cancer, heart disease, low energy levels and other health issues. However, this has not been proven and isn’t supported with medical evidence, that contradicts how some view alkaline diets and understand modern day human physiology. The only way to know for sure is to weigh up exactly how many patients Sebi has treated and how many have been cured of diseases, or compare the difference of being on an alkaline diet, compared to before the ill patient went on an alkaline diet.

It was through his extensive research on the plants and herbs of North, South and Central ‘America’, ‘Africa’ and the ‘Caribbean’, and his interpretation of segments of the bible, that he considered his diet as a key to cleansing toxins from our bodies and a way to cure diseases. Sebi said in an interview, “I use the herbs as God said”. His ideas and way of life continued to spread, with many saying that Sebi had cured them of diseases and dramatically improved their health by following his diet.

It was also through the lessons he learnt from his grandmother ‘Mama Hay’, treating himself -and being treated for diabetes, asthma and obesity by a traditional herbalist in ‘Mexico’ – that he then continued to use the herbs and diet the mexican herbalist had used, on his own patients. Sebi soon founded  the USHA Healing Village in ‘Honduras’ so he could teach others about his theories, herbal methods and his alkaline dietary recommendations.

Thousands of Sebi’s patients worldwide claim that by sticking to his diet, they have been cured and that this is the diet to go for. One of his patients Myrtle Bricks said that a lump she found on her breast had gone and that she hasn’t, “had any symptoms or problems or anything”. Mother Sabrina Pearson said her son no longer has sickle-cell anemia after going on Dr Sebi’s diet, and that her son “has a lot more energy. I have to make him rest”. Sebi said that his food is “an intra cellular culation. I’m removing plaque from the system. I’m removing inflammation, that is the base for cell disease”.

According to a medical affidavit provided by Sebi, his diet is really working. The medical affidavit showed a patient whom was diagnosed with HIV in November 1993, who was then cured within two months. He was also a guide to some of the biggest stars, such as: Lisa Lopes, from the R&B group TLC- whom filmed some of her last moments before her death in ‘Honduras’Steven Seagal, John Travolta, Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson, to help with his addiction to painkillers.

Lopes visited Sebi for guidance for her body, mind and soul, and said she had been smoking and drinking and not taking care of herself, so she decided to opt for Sebi’s recommendation of fasting for 40 days. In an interview with MTV Lopes said, “I’ve been polluting my body for 30 years. 40 days is not a long time to me to fast. 40 days represents overcoming death. It’s the number of days that Jesus fasted for, and I kinda feel like I’m on a journey sometimes, don’t really know quite where I’m headed”. Songstress Alicia Keys said in an interview with CBS, “Dr Sebi, you know, according to him, can cure anything. Everything from trying to lose weight, to, you know looking for a cure for AIDS. People go there with hopes and dreams that Dr Sebi can somehow save them”.

It wasn’t long until Sebi launched his own line of  natural vegetable cell food compounds, usually used for intracellular cleansing and cellular revitalization. However, in 1988 Sebi’s dreams were almost cut short after her was arrested and taken to court, for; practicing medicine without a license, selling products that the Food and Drug Administration had not approved, and claiming that he had the cure for AIDS and many other diseases. This came after Sebi posted ads in the Amsterdam News, the Village Voice and the New York Post that said “AIDS has been cured.” The ‘New York’ State attorney general and the ‘New York’ City Department of Consumer Affairs, subsequently asked Sebi to get rid of his ads, to which he refused.

Despite not having a license, Sebi was found not guilty, due to the testimonies from as many as 70 witnesses, claiming their health had improved and that they had been cured from diseases, since following an alkaline diet. Unfortunately Sebi faced more legal trouble earlier this year, after his arrest on the ‘28th May 2016′, where he later passed away on ‘August 6 2016’ due to having pneumonia. The herbalist guru was arrested for alleged money laundering $37,000 from Juan Manuel Galvez de Roatan Airport. But in his ‘Eat to Live’ documentary – where he is giving a lecture – he emphasises how much he doesn’t like money and that he doesn’t think it is important, but that living is and that we only need money because we are told we need money to fight AIDS for example.

On the other hand Sebi’s arrest records haven’t been released, so the reason as to why he was arrested, released and then arrested again, isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. It would not have been uncommon for Sebi to have such a large sum of money on him, when he had treated so many well-known clients. Many are saying that there is something more to his death and that it was an inside job to ‘silence his work’. Questions around his ; care whilst he was in jail, the situation of his death and the arrest as a whole have been raised, especially since his job was essentially to treat the sick.

Sebi’s family, which includes 17 children, were unable to get him out of custody. The other strange aspect is that Sebi was in police custody for over a month and had no court date set, even though he did not commit a serious crime. Bail wasn’t set because he didn’t have a court date set after his second arrest. During Sebi’s life and death there was little to no coverage on him. You would think that after he claimed to be able to cure cancer and AIDS and won his court case, with witnesses saying Sebi healed them of diseases, that he would have had more exposure. Newspapers didn’t even challenge some of Sebi’s theories or philosophies.

Many conspiracy theorists say that the lack of coverage around Sebi’s life and mysterious arrest and death is because pharmaceutical companies can only make money if people are sick, and that there isn’t any profit in a cure. So are conspiracy theorists basically saying that Sebi was a threat to the pharmaceutical companies because he discovered cures? Many may laugh at conspiracy theories and are quick to dismiss ideas that things aren’t always as they seem. But if you look at the ‘USA’, drugs are big business, and what Sebi says does go against many of the social norms for what we eat and how we treat ourselves medically. I am not sure about the idea of the diet, since there are some things to question, but was Dr Sebi really on to something? It may sound extreme to say that pharmaceutical companies, doctors or scientists would hide a cure from the world, but after all, money makes the world go round, so is it something we should question?

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