Toxic Constituents Not identified.
Toxic Dose Toxicity was seen with excessive and prolonged consumption. The average amount of S. androgynous consumed in each poisoning case was 8.2 kg.4
Mechanism Exact mechanism is unknown. S. androgynus has been shown to cause bronchiolitis obliterans in an animal model. The aqueous extract was shown to be a potent activator of alveolar macrophages with production of tumor necrosis factor-α.5
Poisoning Features Dyspnoea, cough, bronchiolitis obliterans, palpitation, insomnia and oral ulcer.4
Poisoning Events In 1995, there was an outbreak of bronchiolitis obliterans in Taiwan associated with prolonged excessive consumption of uncooked S. androgynus juice for weight control. Subsequently, similar cases due to excessive and prolonged consumption of dried plant powder were also reported in Japan in 2005.4,6
Supportive treatment. Patients with severe bronchiolitis obliterans may necessitate lung transplantation.7
Shrubs, 1–3 m tall, glabrous throughout; branchlets slender, green. Leaf blades thinly papery or sub-membranous, 3–10 × 1.5–3.5 cm. Flowers in axillary clusters. Male flower calyx 5–12 mm in diameter. Female flower calyx lobes red, 5–6 × 3–5.5 mm. Capsules 1.2 × 1.7 cm, globose or depressed-globose, persistent calyx red. Seeds about 7 × 5 mm, triquetrous, black.8
Papaverine, a marker of S. androgynus, can be detected by HPLC-DAD, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS.9–11