Four recent cases of poisoning associated with drinking "herbal teas" mistakenly made with poisonous plants have been reported to the national Center for Disease Control. Three resulted in death, the CDC said.
Two of the incidents involved infants in Arizona who were given large quantities of a tea sometimes used as cough medicine, prepared from a locally marketed product called "gordoloboyerba," the CDC said. An analysis of the tea given the children revealed that it was mistakenly made from a toxic herb, the CDC said.
One of the children, a 6-month-old girl, was admitted to a Tucson hospital in July for treatment. Another, a 2-month-old boy, was admitted to a Phoenix hospital last March 15 and died six days later.
The other cases involved an elderly couple from Chehalis, Wash. The woman picked what she believed to be comfrey plants and made an herbal tea which she and her husband drank for lunch.
The CDC said the couple became ill, and when the husband discovered poisonous forglove plants in their refrigerator, he called an ambulance. The CDC said the woman was dead when an ambulance arrived, and the husband was taken to a hospital. He died the following day.