Herbal remedy causes cardiovascular toxicity

A back pain preparation prescribed by a Melbourne Chinese herbalist caused life-threatening  cardiovascular toxicity to the patient, according to a case report in Emergency Medicine Australia.

The case has prompted a team of intensive care and emergency physicians to call for appropriate patient education by practitioners who prescribe complementary and alternative medicines (CAM).

The team report that the 46-year-old woman experienced facial tingling and numbness within minutes of ingesting the aconite, also known as chuan wu, cao wu and fu zi. This was followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and decreased consciousness.

The Chinese therapy is used to improve general circulation and reduce musculoskeletal pain.

“This was prescribed for acute-on-chronic lumbar back pain,” the