Ayurveda :: Heavy metals found in ayurvedic medicines

About one in five Ayurvedic herbal medicine products sold in the Boston area contains toxic levels of lead, mercury or arsenic, researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Our findings support calls for reform of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act that would require mandatory testing of all imported dietary supplements for toxic heavy metals,” lead author Dr. Robert B. Saper, at Boston University School of Medicine, and his colleagues write.

Traditional Indian herbal medicine products are growing in popularity in Western countries, Saper’s team notes. Since herbal medicines are classified as dietary supplements, they are regulated in the US by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which does not require proof of safety or effectiveness.

Saper’s group visited stores within 20 miles of Boston City Hall that sold Ayurvedic herbal medicine products imported from south Asia, and purchased one package of each herbal medicine product available. Samples were sent for analysis to the New England Regional Environmental Protection Agency laboratory.

Fourteen of the 70 herbal medicine products contained lead, mercury and/or arsenic, Saper and his colleagues report.

“If taken as recommended by the manufacturers, each of these 14 could result in heavy metal intakes above published regulatory standards,” they note.

In many cases, the herbal medicines contained much higher levels than allowed by US Pharmacopeia standards — levels similar to those associated with toxic blood concentrations and symptomatic poisoning in previously reported cases. These levels could be especially dangerous to children.

The authors recommend that Ayurvedic herbal medicine users undergo testing for heavy metal poisoning and that doctors consider Ayurvedic herbal medicine use when they encounter cases of unexplained heavy metal toxicity.

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Ayurveda :: Heavy metals found in ayurvedic medicines
by ( Author at Spirit India )
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