Woman, 56, dies after drinking toxic tea from SF Chinatown shop

21 March, 2017, 09:11 | Author: Eloise Marshall

The San Francisco resident has since recovered and was released on March 12, she said. In two separate incidents, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 30s became critically ill within an hour of drinking tea made from leaves supplied by the same San Francisco herbalist.

A San Francisco woman who fell critically ill after drinking tea from a Chinatown herbalist has died. Both victims quickly developed weakness and then life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, requiring resuscitation and intensive hospital care. One of those who were hospitalized, 56-year-old Yu-Ping Xie, died on Saturday according to The Examiner and the Chronicle's Evan Sernoffsky, via Twitter.

Cardiovascular abnormalities such as low blood pressure, palpitations, chest pains, and slow, fast or irregular heartbeats that can lead to sudden death can also be experienced, health department officials said. They bought different blends of medicinal teas with several ingredients.

San Francisco health officials encourage anyone who purchased tea from the Chinatown location to stop consuming it. The teas had several ingredients, and the ingredients that were common to both tea mixtures are now being tested, authorities said.

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

Health officials are also testing the other ingredients used to make the teas.

The health department says Sunwing Wo is fully cooperating with inspectors to trace the source of the toxic tea. Commonly called monkshood, Wolf's bane, helmet flower, "chuanwu", "fuzi", and "caowu", the plant is used in Asian herbal medicine to treat bruises, pain and other conditions.

There is no indication that the people were poisoned intentionally, according to officials.

Individuals who consumed the tea and have not had any symptoms are safe, but should not consume it anymore. But the shop owner is working with the health department to find where the toxin came from.

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