A practitioner of Chinese medicine has pleaded guilty to selling a banned substance to a woman who went on to develop kidney failure and cancer.
Ying "Susan" Wu, 48, of Holland-on-Sea in Essex, has been on trial at the Old Bailey for selling pills containing aristolochic acid to a civil servant.
The judge said he accepted Ms Wu had not meant to harm, and that the case highlighted the need for regulation. Ms Wu has now been given a conditional discharge.
Patricia Booth, 58, took the pills, bought at Chelmsford's Chinese Herbal Medical Centre, for over five years. She was in her mid-40s when she first sought help from the centre in 1997 for stubborn patches of spots on her face. The Old Bailey heard the products had been advertised as "safe and natural".
But they contained a substance - aristolochic acid - which when she was first sold them, should only have been given under prescription, and which was later banned.