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Two People Fall Critically Ill in San Francisco After Drinking Herbal Tea Leaves That Turned Toxic


Two individuals are in critical condition in a San Francisco hospital after they drank the same exact herbal tea from a Chinatown shop.

Tea leaves purchased at the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company on 1105 Grant Ave in the city contained a plant toxin called Aconite, which if not processed properly, can be poisonous, stated San Francisco’s Department of Public Health Friday.


Officials believe a man around 50 years of age last February as well as a woman in her mid 30s earlier this month had become critically sick after only one hour of drinking the herbal tea, and both are currently still hospitalized.

Each of the people to drink the tea became weak, followed by abnormal heartbeats that were lie-threatening, and require resuscitation and to be placed in intensive care.


Aconite, known as the herbs helmet flower, wolfsbane, and monkshood, is often used in Eastern medicines, but in order for it to be safe, they must be processed correctly. Health officials began investigating to discover the original source behind the tea, and have warned others to immediately stop ingesting it.

‘Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately,’ said Dr. Tomas Aragon, a health officer in the city to SF Gate. ‘Aconite poisoning attacks the heart and can be lethal.’

The products were removed from shelves and have stopped being sold, said the news outlet.

Residents that drink this tea need to be careful of certain side affects like numbing of the mouth, limbs, or face, or get chest palpitations or pains, irregular heartbeat, vomiting or nausea, or diarrhea. If you experience any of these effects then it is important to immediately seek out medical attention.