The BBC reports 19 people have been treated in hospital, according to Denmark’s SSI health agency. Those involved in the outbreak are aged between two and 92.
All those affected ate Husk brand psyllium husk capsules from batches recalled by manufacturer Orkla Care.
Authorities found traces of salmonella in the products at patients’ homes.
The herbal products are generally used as a laxative. Luise Müller of Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut said it was the first time the agency had found a herbal medicine to be the cause of a salmonella outbreak.
It is not clear which ingredient could have caused the poisoning.
Significant inhibition of HAV was observed only when HAV was co-treated with extracts. Ten out of the 16 herbal extracts demonstrated significant virucidal activity against HAV. Alnus japonica extract at a concentration of 50 μg/mL reduced HAV titer by 3.43 ± 0.24 logs. Artemisia annua, Allium sativum, Allium fistulosum, and Agrimonia pilosa extracts showed 2.33 ± 0.43, 2.10 ± 0.41, 2.07 ± 0.60, and 2.03 ± 0.26-log reductions, respectively. Pleuropterus multiflorus, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Coriandrum sativum, Ginkgo biloba, and Torilis japonica extracts reduced HAV titer by 1.02 ± 0.21 to 1.90 ± 0.33 logs. Among the 10 herbal extracts, Alnus japonica extract was the most potent in inhibiting HAV without exhibiting cytotoxicity.
Antiviral activity of herbal extracts against the hepatitis A virus
The purity and potency of such supplements and teas are not regulated in the same way as pharmaceuticals and may lead to adverse drug reactions and may contain heavy metals andother contaminants which could be harmful, says the study.
In 2007 one brand of gripe water, used to soothe fussy babies, was recalled because it contained cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause intestinal infections.
The supplements and teas are sometimes preferred by parents because they can be obtained without medical prescriptions and have been shown to be effective for some conditions. Most are marketed as, and considered to be, more natural.
Experts recommend that infants receive only human milk or infant formula for the first four to six months, with vitamins and medicine as needed.