Herbs Can Kill

April 23, 2017


Herb Poisoning, One Dead 

Think Twice Before Taking Herbs from an Unlicensed Herbalist

On March 10, 2017, the San Francisco Department of Public Health issued a press release regarding the poisoning of two persons who consumed herbal medicines from an unlicensed herbalist.

Both patients were hospitalized. Unfortunately one of them, a 56-year old mother of two, passed away.

The herb that caused both poisonings requires removal of harmful agents. This is common knowledge for licensed professionals who are trained in the medical use of herbs and purchase from pharmaceutical grade herb companies that supply certificates of analysis.

"It is important to note that on the unlikely occasion that these types of poisonings occur, it is often due to improper self-administration or a result of buying herbal teas from unlicensed herbalists. The poisonings occurred in a shop that is unlicensed and unregulated." - Dr. Jordan Wheeler, CSOMA Board of Directors

Buying herbs from retailers or individuals without medical training specifically in herbs is risky.

Herbs Still Safer than Drugs
It is estimated that "about 128,000 people die each year from [prescription] drugs prescribed to them," says Donald Light from the Harvard Center for Ethics.

Comparatively, medicinal herbs are still much safer than drugs even when purchased in a dark alley. However, by seeking professional care you ensure safety.

The State of California recognizes herbs given to a patient from a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) as an actual medical prescription. The California Acupuncture License requires board exam certification based on herb knowledge, safety, proper diagnosis, and prescribing. It is currently the highest stamp of credibility for herbal prescribing in the country. 


Holistic & Integrative Medicine

Dr. Cassone

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