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Two People Hospitalized After Drinking Tea from Chinatown Herbalist
Two people in San Francisco have been hospitalized after they drank herbal tea supplied by a Chinatown herbalist. The tea was possibly having plant-based toxin Aconite as per report of the Department of Public Health. The tea was sold by Sun Wing Wo Trading Company. Both the patients have been termed as critical by hospital staff.
A San Francisco man, 50, and a woman age 30, have grew weak after drinking tea. Both the patients fell ill within an hour of drinking herbal tea. Their condition deteriorated and they had to be admitted for intensive medical care.
Aconite is used in Asian herbal medicines. However, it can be unsafe if it hasn’t been processed correctly. Health officials said that they are still trying to figure out the source of tea leaves. They will send warning for retailers and consumers, once they are sure about the source and the level of intoxication in herbal tea batches.
City health department has already removed the products from Sun Wing Wo Trading Company. Health officials said that anyone who experiences discomfort or weakness after consuming tea should immediately contact medical services staff.
Aconite poisoning can be lethal as it attacks heart and leads to serious health issues. It is mainly used for treatment of bruises, pain and other conditions.
San Francisco Department of Public Health will issue an advisory on consumption of herbal tea after the department completes its investigation regarding source of tea leaves.
As per SF Gate report, “Symptoms usually begin within a few minutes or up to a couple hours and can include: numbness or tingling of the face, mouth or limbs; weakness in the limbs; paralysis; low blood pressure; chest pain; palpitations; nausea and diarrhea.”
“The investigation is just starting, but we know that the tea in both instances came from the same place,” said Rachael Kagan, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “And in each instance the person had drank the tea recently.”