Woman dies after drinking herbal tea from San Francisco medicinal shop

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 21, 2017

Two San Francisco residents - a man in his 50s last month and a woman in her 30s this month - fell critically ill and was hospitalized after consuming herbal tea from the same Chinatown herbalist in San Francisco. Both became critically ill and required resuscitation and hospitalization within an hour of consuming the tea.

The tea leaves were purchased at the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company at 1105 Grant Ave. The second victim is said to be a man in his 30s who remains hospitalized after developing weakness and a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm.

Investigators found plant-based toxin aconite in tea samples the two provided to the health department.

City officials said the patients purchased different blends of teas that were put together from several ingredients for them at the shop.

Each patient bought different blends of medicinal teas that may have had a common ingredient containing aconite, Kagan said. The teas had several ingredients, and the ingredients that were common to both tea mixtures are now being tested.

Aconite is also called monkshood, helmet flower, wolfsbane, "chuanwu", "caowu", and "fuzi", and is used as a remedy in Asian herbal medicine for bruises, pain and other conditions.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner has been working to determine the official cause of death, the San Francisco Chronicle said. The plant's raw flowers are highly toxic but usually become safe after being processed. "Aconite poisoning attacks the heart and can be lethal".

Sadly, the story from ten days ago about the two people who were recently sickened after drinking tea purchased from a Chinatown herbalist has taken a tragic turn.

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