Australian state warns against heart-toxic slimming herbs

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Bad trip: The Latin Seed is offering a 'weight loss journey' that may turn toxic, according to Australian authorities
Bad trip: The Latin Seed is offering a 'weight loss journey' that may turn toxic, according to Australian authorities
The Australian state of New South Wales is warning consumers off weight loss herbal products after testing revealed they contained toxic botanical extracts.

The products -​‘The Latin Seed’ and ‘Slim Seed’- were labelled as containing Aleurites moluccana ​(candle nut) but DNA testing revealed they in fact contained Thevetia neriifolia​ or Thevetia peruviana​ also known as yellow oleander.

The NSW Food Authority noted yellow oleander is a banned herb under the Prohibited and Restricted Plants and Fungi of the Food Standards Code.

“The Authority has received medical advice that Yellow oleander contains cardiac (digoxin-like) glycosides which can be highly toxic to the heart,”​ the NSW Food Authority said.

“Consequently the Authority has advised the distributors of these products that further sale should be discontinued and that the products be withdrawn from sale.”

The agency noted​The Latin Seed was available in Australian via the internet, broadcast and print media as well as some health food stores.

Consumers who have purchased the product are advised not to consume the product and to dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase,”​ it warned. “Anyone concerned with potential health effects of these products should seek medical advice.”

Killed adults, children, pets, and livestock

The American Cancer Society notes of the plant: “Oleander extracts -- in carefully controlled doses -- are in the early phases of testing to find out whether they are effective in treating cancer. There have been numerous reports of poisoning and death from ingestion of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and its extracts. It has killed adults, children, pets, and livestock. Even a small amount of oleander can cause death due to its effects on the heart.”

Your weight loss journey

The Latin Seed website​ calls the product, “The natural secret of South America”.

The site states: The Latin Seed … is a natural product sourced from the Amazon basin of South America. It is unique in its properties of key nutrients due to the environmental conditions in which it is cultivated.”

The product is, the site states, “A potent combination of essential fatty acids and trace elements, when incorporated into a well balanced diet and exercise regimen this amazing seed is great as part of your weight loss journey.”

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