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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 3 (1996), Issue 4, Pages 269-271
Case Report

Finger Clubbing Caused by Herbal Tea

Saifudin Rashiq,1 Neil E Brown,2 and Richard N Fedorak3

1Department of Anaesthesia, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2Division of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
3Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Clubbing of the fingers is often taken to be a sign of serious illness. Its discovery, particularly if there are associated symptoms in the cardiovascular, respiratory or gastrointestinal systems, usually leads to exhaustive investigation. A case is presented in which the etiology of clubbing was found only when a new history of heavy ingestion of herbal tea was obtained, extensive work-up having previously been unhelpful. Other cases appearing in the English-language literature are cited, some universal etiological associations are described, and an attempt is made to explain the phenomenon, based on a recent theory of the cause of clubbing.