Woman who died after turmeric infusion may have reacted to castor oil

FDA says oil not for human consumption
Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 21:03:36-04

(KGTV) - Jade Erick was just 30 years old when she visited an Encinitas naturopathic doctor for a turmeric infusion to treat her painful eczema. Within minutes Erick suffered an allergic reaction that eventually ended her life.

The Food and Drug Administration is now blaming a type of castor oil mixed with a component of turmeric called curcumin. The FDA traced the product used on Erick and found it contained polyethylene glycol (PEG) 40 castor oil. 

RELATED: San Diego woman dead after turmeric IV infusion

The FDA says the label on the castor oil used had a warning: "CAUTION: for manufacturing or laboratory use only."

The castor oil used was ungraded, which means it is used for "general industrial or research purposes and typically not suitable for human consumption or therapeutic use," according to the FDA report.

RELATED: Encinitas naturopathic doctor involved in IV turmeric death identified

The FDA says same curcumin emulsion was used on a 71-year-old man who also had a strong hypersensitivity reaction. The man was rushed to an emergency room and survived.

Team 10 contacted the San Diego company named as the supplier. ImprimisRX sent this statement:

"Despite the FDA’s statement about this tragedy, the facts are that ImprimisRx has never received a prescription order for curcumin for the subject patient and ImprimisRx has never dispensed a product to or for the subject patient. ImprimisRx, which serves more than 10,000 Americans per week, maintains the highest quality production and regulatory standards and has been inspected by the FDA four times in the past 2 years.  Regarding PEG castor oil, it is used in numerous commercial FDA-approved products and is legal to be used in curcumin as well." 

A spokesperson for ImprimisRX said the PEG castor oil the company uses comes from a certified vendor that is registered and inspected by the FDA and is suitable for human pharmaceutical use. 

RELATED: Holistic eczema remedy with IV turmeric killed California woman, coroner says

The company plans to release a more detailed statement Monday.