Two women died and four others fell ill in Kratie province on Tuesday after drinking rice wine infused with bark from a Neang Nuon tree, according to police.
Sisters Prolung Nhar, 28, and Prolung Thoeun, 34, purchased the tonic from a local shop to ease their backaches, said Chan Sok Kim, chief of police in Snuol district, but instead were struck by dizziness, vomiting and headaches and were sent to the provincial hospital.
Prolung Thoeun “was too seriously poisoned by the rice wine and she died,” he said.
Mr. Sok Kim confirmed that another woman, Korn Saroeun, 26, died on Wednesday after testing the infused wine, which she bought from the same shop with the intention to sell it at her own establishment.
Three more women who purchased the rice wine from the same shop—Krouch Sineth, 26; La Rohoes, 38; and Rom Mon 27— also fell ill Tuesday and were to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, he said.
No one has been arrested over the toxic tonic, but the shop that sold the bark-infused drink has been closed, according to Mr. Sok Kim.