Two San Francisco residents hospitalized by poison tea from SF Chinatown

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Saturday, March 11, 2017
This is an undated image of the herbs that allegedly poisoned two people in San Francisco.
kgo-San Francisco Department of Public Health

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Two San Francisco residents are critically ill and remain hospitalized after consuming herbal tea that contained Aconite, a lethal poison.

The tea leaves were purchased at the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Investigators say in separate incidents in February and March, 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 herbalist in San Francisco.

Both victims quickly developed weakness, and then life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, requiring resuscitation and intensive hospital care.

A plant-based toxin, Aconite, was found in lab tests of the patients and the tea samples they provided.

Residents are being warned if they have any of the following symptoms to seek medical attention:

Sensory Abnormalities

Numbness or tingling of the face, mouth or limbs

Weakness in the limbs


Cardiovascular abnormalities

Dangerously low blood pressure


Chest pain

Slow or fast heartbeat

Irregular heartbeats that can lead to sudden death

Gastrointestinal abnormalities

Nausea, vomiting

Abdominal pain