Use caution: Jillian Mai Thi protocol

Jillian Mai Thi protocol

Someone I know personally, recently shared a blog post titled “When Health Fads Go Too Far – The Jillian Mai Thi Protocol”, this post prompted me to join her group to investigate for myself, I was not disappointed (unfortunately). Jillian’s name was not known to me which strikes me as odd considering her group has well over 30,000 members in it, perhaps it’s because I tend to use actual citations if I comment on things, a habit like that could very well have made her avoid me like the plague given her totalitarian attitude. Maybe it was just chance that we never crossed paths over the last couple of years, who knows. Either way I know her name and protocol now, let’s go over this in detail, Porche style.
The recipe:

2 cups cabbage/kale

2 cups water

1 tablespoon of salt
Blend well and store in airtight jar for 3 days.
The recommended dosage is to work up to over a gallon of this “juice” per day. A gallon contains 16 cups, that is 8 tablespoons of salt or more per day. 113.4 grams (113,400mg) of salt, possibly more, just from her juice. Official dietary recommendations say sodium intake should be limited to 1,500mg – 2,400mg, that translates to 1.5g – 2.4g per day. People are feeding this to their infants.
In one of her posts she covers potential “healing” or “detox” symptoms and they are as follows:



Cold hands and feet




Dry mouth

Face burning feeling


Growing pains in kids

Gums burning

Heart palpitations


Joint pain and swelling

Liver pain


Mucus from ears



Swelling face and eyes


Uterine pain
That is just a small selection from a long list she says is not complete.Lets compare some of these to symptoms of sodium poisoning shall we?
Sodium poisoning symptoms, also known as hypernatremia:




Abdominal cramps



Peripheral edema

Cerebral edema (headaches?)

This is not an extensive list either, I just wanted to demonstrate the similarities. Here are a few studies and resources on excess Sodium intake.

Dietary Sodium and Health: More Than Just Blood Pressure

“Abstract:Sodium is essential for cellular homeostasis and physiological function. Excess dietary sodium has been linked to elevations in blood pressure (BP). Salt sensitivity of BP varies widely, but certain subgroups tend to be more salt sensitive. The mechanisms underlying sodium-induced increases in BP are not completely understood but may involve alterations in renal function, fluid volume, fluid-regulatory hormones, the vasculature, cardiac function, and the autonomic nervous system. Recent pre-clinical and clinical data support that even in the absence of an increase in BP, excess dietary sodium can adversely affect target organs, including the blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and brain. In this review, the investigators review these issues and the epidemiological research relating dietary sodium to BP and cardiovascular health outcomes, addressing recent controversies. They also provide information and strategies for reducing dietary sodium.”

Salt affects organs, even in absence of high blood pressure

University of Delaware


Physicians have provided evidence that even in the absence of an increase in blood pressure, excess dietary sodium can adversely affect target organs, including the blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain.”


“If hypertension is not treated, there will be organ damage to kidneys, heart, and brain which is generally not reversible. Death in persons with hypertension most often occurs from heart failure, chronic renal failure, and stroke. (Law et al, 2009)”


“Human Toxicity Excerpts:

/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ The oral ingestion of larger quantities of sodium chloride, eg 1000 g in 600 mL of water, is harmful and can induce irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, vomiting, hypernatremia, respiratory distress, convulsions, and death.[Rowe, R.C., Sheskey, P.J., Quinn, M.E.; (Eds.), Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients 6th edition Pharmaceutical Press, London, England 2009, p. 639] **PEER REVIEWED**

/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ The GI effects of oral salt administration include swollen tongue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and thirst. Neurologic effects include thirst, irritability,weakness, headache, convulsions, and coma. Cerebral edema may occur, and muscle tremors may be noted. Cardiovascular manifestations of acute hypernatremia include both hypertension and hypotension. Tachycardia, cardiac failure, and peripheral edema may develop. Pulmonary edema and respiratory arrest may occur.[Dart, R.C. (ed). Medical Toxicology. Third Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, PA. 2004., p. 1058] **PEER REVIEWED**

/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ Sodium chloride at concentrations much above that in tears causes a stinging sensation on contact with the eye. Solutions up to 10% do not alter the permeability of the corneal epithelium, but solutions more dilute than 0.9% sodium chloride cause increased permeability.[Grant, W.M. Toxicology of the Eye. 3rd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1986., p. 830] **PEER REVIEWED**”

Salt is essential for life, however that does not make it magically exempt from “too much of a good thing”. Another point on the salt level in this recipe is that it is too high to facilitate fermentation. I’ve made various ferments over the years. I and anyone else who has ever done successful ferments will tell you that too much salt kills the ferment. In other words you have to throw it out and start over. The same goes for any mold growing in or on the ferment (throw it out). Jillian’s advice when someone gets mold on their “ferment” is to simply scrape it off and drink up. There is a flat stare I would give you after reading that but I can’t convey that through text so you will just have to imagine it. I’m going to share a collection of screenshots I took from her group so you can see some of it for yourself.

As much as this woman would like to say otherwise her “juice”, “ferment”, whatever you call it, is just terribly butchered saurkraut. Real saurkraut is really good for overall health and doesn’t cause the symptoms listed above. Wellness mama homemade saurkraut.

The recipe linked above is a pretty big batch for the average individual. When you compare measurements you can see the difference in the amount of salt, 1/4 cup is 4 tablespoons for 5 pounds of cabbage.
While I was going through her group I could not figure out why anyone would follow her directions so blindly but realised she speaks in absolutes and with conviction every time. In an uncertain world that can have strong appeal. Given the terrible symptoms you would think people would stop but some of the neurological symptoms include difficulty thinking. Between these 2 main factors you get a fanatical group of people unable to think for themselves while looking to the only person who seems certain for direction. I’ve copied a handful of her files for you so you can see what I’m talking about. You can see them here:

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