The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers in May 1997 not to purchase or consume the product "Chomper." "Chomper" is a botanical product, indicated for "internal cleaning," that is distributed by Arise and Shine of Mt. Shasta, California. The raw ingredients listed on the label included plantain, which was found to contain the toxic plant Digitalis lonata. This is a potent medicine normally available only by prescription to treat various heart conditions.
Plantain has also been found as an ingredient in various other dietary supplements. Consumers are advised to always read labels and not to consume any product containing plantain, as ingesting it may cause life threatening cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) and even cardiac arrest. Other potential side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, confusion, low blood pressure and vision problems.
Anyone who has experienced any adverse reaction after consuming one of these products should call the FDA at 800-FDA-1088. Current information on products that may contain mislabeled plantain may be obtained by dialing the FDA's Consumer Hotline at 800-FDA-4010 or by accessing the FDA's website.