A Shanghai woman who cooked up toad soup in a bid to cure cirrhosis of the liver was poisoned by the animals’ toxins, Shanghai Daily reports.
According to city food safety officials, the woman and her husband, who has cancer, got their son to bring live toads from Jiangsu province so they could cook up the traditional Chinese remedy.
The couple were both hospitalised on Wednesday afternoon showing symptoms of poisoning. The woman, left especially vulnerable to the toad’s toxins by her already damaged liver, died at 6pm.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that toads can “clear heat from the body, remove toxin and kill cancer tumors” according to the Shanghai Daily. The pseudoscientific reason behind the amphibian’s supposed healing powers exemplifies the toddler-like logic of TCM: because toads live in cool, damp places.
Gu Zhenhua, vice director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, advised the public to “follow the advice of doctors”. It is fair to assume that most doctors would advise against eating something which is poisonous.
(NB: Not all toads are poisonous to eat.)
[Image credit: @delgrossodotcom]