Woman Dies After Drinking Poisonous Tea

First Posted: Mar 22, 2017 04:58 AM EDT

Many people around the world drink tea as part of their culture. For instance, there is English breakfast for the Brits, green tea for the Japanese, chai tea for Indians, Noon Chai for the Pakistani.

Tea was always considered a healthy beverage and is often recommended for healing and weight loss. However, wrong kinds could lead to disastrous results. One of such disasters happened to a San Franciso woman who died after consuming poisonous herbal tea from the city's Chinatown.

CNN believed the woman, expected to be in her 50s, became "critically ill" after drinking tea purchased from the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company. She experienced "weakness and life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms" soon after consuming the tea, which required her to get immediate medical attention. She was hospitalized and died last Saturday.

A separate incident also recorded a man who became ill after consuming tea of a different blend in the same company. He managed to recover and was released from the hospital on March 12. However, the San Francisco health officials refused to identify the people who became ill.

The officials noted that a lab test showed aconite in the tea samples taken from the company. Aconite, also known as monkshood or wolf's bane, has long been used in Asian herbal medicine to treat pain and bruises. In large doses, however, this is considered to be an extremely poisonous plant.

According to the New York Post, the raw roots of the plants are generally toxic when not processed properly. They can induce symptoms that include numbness in the face, mouth or limbs. They can also cause paralysis, vomiting and low blood pressure as well as irregular heart rhythm that can lead patients to their sudden deaths.

Dr. Tomas Aragon, a health officer from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said in a statement, "Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately." He also added that aconite poisoning can attack the heart and can be lethal in the long run.

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