FDA issues alert on herbal supplement

One month after authorities raided a downtown Lawrence store, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a public health alert about the herbal supplement at the center of the controversy.

Law enforcement officials shut down Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass., on June 10, seizing an herbal weight-loss supplement called Que She.

Thursday, the FDA said the weight-loss pills contain potentially harmful ingredients, and anyone who has purchased it should stop using the product immediately and consult their doctor.

The health alert said Que She, advertised as “an all-natural blend of Chinese herbs” contains active pharmacuetical ingredients not listed on the label that could harm consumers, especially anyone with cardiovascular conditions.

The FDA analyzed Que She and found it contains the drug fenfluramine, which was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1997 for causing serious heart valve damage, and another controlled substance that’s been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart disease.

An employee at Sacred Journey did not want to comment about the alert, but the store did have a copy of the warning taped to the front door.