Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Warning Over Potentially Toxic Chinese Herbal Medicine

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Bookmark and Share
MHRA warn people not to use Zheng Tian Wan to treat migraines.

The MHRA is warning people not to use a particular Chinese herbal medicine, used to treat migraines, as it contains a potentially toxic herbal ingredient.

The product, Zheng Tian Wan consists of herbal pills which contain aconite, a poisonous plant toxic to the heart and the nervous system and linked to serious health complications including deaths.

This product has recently come to the attention of the MHRA as a result of being supplied to a patient by an herbal practitioner.

Aconite (also known as monkshood) is on a UK list of restricted herbal ingredients. Aconite should not be used in unlicensed products for oral use and Herbal practitioners in the UK should only use aconite in preparations for external use only on unbroken skin. It can be prescribed in oral medicines by a qualified medical doctor under supervision as a prescription-only medicine.

The product is an unlicensed herbal medicine which means it has not been assessed for safety and quality by the MHRA.

The MHRA has previously received three reports of suspected side effects to aconite, one where a patient suffered kidney problems a second person was hospitalized after suffering dizziness and ‘pins and needles’ (paraesthesia) and the third experienced palpitations, aches and pains with shortness of breath but recovered after stopping taking the product.

Andrea Farmer, Herbal Policy Manager at the MHRA said: “Herbal medicines can have a very significant effect on the body. In certain circumstances, such as with aconite taken orally, they can be extremely dangerous.

Products intended for oral use containing aconite are not permitted in the UK without appropriate authorization.

If users have taken Zheng Tian Wan or any other aconite -containing product, speak to their GP or healthcare professional as soon as possible.

“Natural does not mean safe. To help you choose an herbal medicine that is suitable for you, look for a product that has a Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) or product license number on the packaging. These products have met the acceptable quality and safety standards.

“And if you think you have suffered a side effect to an herbal medicine, please tell us about it through our Yellow Card Scheme at”

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

UK Moves Towards Safe and Effective Electronic Cigarettes and Other NCPs
All nicotine-containing products, such as electronic cigarettes, are to be regulated as medicines in a move to make these products safer and more effective to reduce the harms of smoking.
Friday, July 12, 2013
MHRA Appoints New Chief Executive
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced the appointment of Dr Ian Hudson as its Chief Executive.
Friday, July 05, 2013
Man Jailed in Pre-Clinical Trial Data Scam Case
The man was sentenced to three months in prison for altering pre-clinical trial data designed to support applications to perform clinical trials.
Friday, April 19, 2013
MHRA Prioritises Science and Research Support as Part of New Corporate Plan
MHRA announced its aim to be a leading regulator on the world stage in supporting science and research as part of its new five-year corporate plan.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Side Effects to be Discovered more Quickly, Leading to Safer Prescribing
BMJ Learning has teamed up with the MHRA to launch a new, interactive and multimedia learning module on pharmacovigilance.
Monday, April 15, 2013
The Medicines Act Hits 40
The 25th October 2008 will mark the 40th birthday of the Medicines Act. For the past 40 years, the Act has served as the corner-stone of domestic medicines regulation, safe guarding public health.
Friday, October 24, 2008
New Web Resource About Medicines
From today, people can access a new authoritative source of information on the Internet about medicines.
Friday, September 26, 2008
British Pharmacopoeia Launches New Website
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today launched the new British Pharmacopoeia (BP) website
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Safer, Faster Way To Remove Pollutants From Water
Using nanoparticles filled with enzymes proves more effective than current methods.
Drug May Prevent Life-Threatening Muscle Loss in Advanced Cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Novel Tumor Treatment
In the first published results from a $386,000 National Cancer Institute grant awarded earlier this year, a paper by Scott Verbridge and Rafael Davalos has been published.
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Chemical Design Made Easier
Rice University scientists prepare elusive organocatalysts for drug and fine chemical synthesis.
New Analysis Technique for Chiral Activity in Molecules
Professor Hyunwoo Kim of the Chemistry Department and his research team have developed a technique that can easily analyze the optical activity of charged compounds by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos