Health warning over 'toxic' herbal tea after two people fall critically ill

Two people have become critically ill after drinking toxic herbal tea from the same Chinatown herbalist in San Francisco. 

A man and a woman were treated in hospital after consuming tea leaves bought from Sun Wing Wo Trading Company, the city’s public health department (SFDPH) confirmed.  They contained the plant-based toxin aconite, also known as monkshood, wolfsbane, devil’s helmet or the queen of all poisons.

The man in his fifties and woman in her thirties became gravely ill an hour after ingesting the plant, developing life-threatening symptoms including abnormal heart rhythms. Both grew weak and required resuscitation, remaining in hospital in intensive care. 

The pair fell ill on separate occasions, with the first incident occurring in February and the second in March.