March 2024

Oleander Showing Up in Tejocote Supplements

Toxic yellow oleander is showing up in many supplements labeled as tejocote root. The FDA is warning consumers about these products. Here’s what you should know.

Sparked by an emergency physician’s report back in 2022, the CDC and FDA launched an investigation into tejocote root weight loss supplements. Since then, as many as 18 products marketed as tejocote (Crataegus mexicana) root or Brazil seed have been tested and confirmed to contain poisonous yellow oleander. Consuming any part of oleander can cause serious and potentially fatal cardiovascular side effects – as few as 2 oleander seeds can lead to death.

Concerns about oleander adulteration aren’t limited to just tejocote root products – the FDA issued a similar warning about Nuez de la India, also called India Nuts for Weight Loss, several months ago. This nut mix was marketed as a botanical food for weight loss but was, in fact, toxic oleander seeds.

The FDA is working with third-party platforms where many of these products are sold, including Amazon. Advise patients to steer clear of all tejocote root products and to be very cautious about using any weight loss supplements – this is a particularly risky product category, notorious for containing harmful undeclared ingredients and stimulants.

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