Department of Health in Hong Kong warns public about Ling Zhi She Xiang Tong Mai Dan

All herbal safety warnings and alerts

2 July 2012

The Department of Health in Hong Kong have issued a warning asking members of the public not to buy or consume an oral product called ‘Ling Zhi She Xiang Tong Mai Dan’, as it may contain an undeclared pharmaceutical, dexamethasone, that is dangerous to health. Dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid.

An 87 year old male patient was admitted to hospital, and was subsequently found to have features of Cushing's syndrome, which can be caused by steroid overdose. An oral product called 'Ling Zhi She Xiang Tong Mai Dan' was suspected to have caused the adverse reaction after laboratory tests showed the presence of the undeclared pharmaceutical dexamethasone. The product was purchased in Malaysia.

The public have also been warned not to use a traditional Chinese medicine named 'Hachimijiougan pill'. According to its label, the product contains Aconiti Tuber, which is an aconitum alkaloid-containing herb. Aconitum alkaloids are toxic and may cause numbness, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia and in severe case, death.

While there is no evidence that these products are available in the UK, consumers are warned to be vigilant.

Page last modified: 02 July 2012