Two poisoning cases in San Francisco after drinking herbal tea purchased in a Chinatown store


The tea was made from leaves purchased at the Chinatown business Sun Wing Wo Trading Company, located at 1105 Grant Avenue. Lab tests found that the tea contained Aconite, a plant-based lethal poison. The victims suffered from weakness and life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, requiring resuscitation and intensive hospital care. Health department officials have removed the product from the store’s shelves and are working with the store’s owner to trace the source of contamination. But at a preventive measure, “anyone who purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately.” Symptoms, which include sensory abnormalities such as numbness or tingling of the face, mouth or limbs, weakness in the limbs and paralysis and cardiovascular abnormalities such as low blood pressure, palpitations, chest pains, slow or fast heartbeats, as well as irregular heartbeats,  can take over within a few minutes or a couple of hours and can depend on the amount consumed. There is no dedicated antidote for Aconite poisoning, only the casual symptoms are treated.


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