The wave of Ozempic and Wegovy is hard to ignore. Constant demand has led to supply shortages and those seeking quick results have found themselves making rash decisions and purchasing unregulated alternatives.
Found as an alternative to Ozempic, a deadly plant called yellow oleander has been found in nine out of 10 products and labeled as Tejocote Root, according to the CDC, who published their findings on September 14.
Yellow oleander is toxic to humans, and while Tejocote Root is a weight loss supplement, they are not the same product.
Unregulated weight loss drugs have led to hospitalizations across the country and all of the patients are linked to the same dangerous plant.
A quick Google search shows that Tejocote Root is available for purchase in several products, and TikTok videos are praising the benefits of the root as a weight loss aid. While it isn't toxic like yellow oleander, Tejocote Root is a Mexican root primarily used for weight loss; however, many call it a bogus supplement.
@fitbymichaela Reply to @gloriaantunez99 went from 221lbs and am now around 173lbs. I didn’t diet or exercise then but I do eat healthier and workout 4-5x a week now 💗 #weightloss #alipotec #tejocoteroot ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim
What happens when you ingest yellow oleander?
Yellow oleander is a native plant from Mexico and Central America that can cause neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular concerns.
Symptoms range from:
- Cardiac changes
The symptoms can be severe, and even fatal. The entire plant is dangerous, however, the seeds are particularly toxic.
Weight loss pills aren't the only supplements to include yellow oleander. The FDA issued a warning that included botanical foods labeled as "Nuez de la India," or candlenuts, where yellow oleander was found after a person in Maryland was hospitalized after eating a nut mix. The "slimming seeds" promise weight loss but instead, include the toxic plant. They are sold on Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
Americans spend $2.1 billion a year on weight loss supplements, and without a prescription, a quick pill seems like a cheap and easy solution to lose those extra pounds. But is the desperation to fit into your jeans worth buying a toxic alternative to Ozempic?
So far, this is no evidence as to why yellow oleander is being misbranded as Tejocote toot, especially since it offers no weight loss benefits.
- CDC. Notes from the Field: Online Weight Loss Supplements Labeled as Tejocote Root, Substituted with Yellow Oleander.
- Case Reports in Cardiology. Heart Block Initiated by Candlenut Ingestion.
- FDA. The FDA Expands Warning to Consumers About Toxic Yellow Oleander Purported to be Nuez de la India in Certain Botanical Weight Loss Products.