In the News

August 27, 2008 

Toxins in Ayurvedic medicines

In the Journal of the American Medical Association this week there is an article entitled "Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet."  Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional form of therapy originally from India but now also available in the United States. In some of their medicines herbs are combined with metals, minerals, and gem products. In this study it was found that approximately 20% of these medications, purchased through websites in the United States, contained toxic levels of lead, mercury, or arsenic. This was equally true whether the products were manufactured in India or in the United States. It is important to understand that while non-prescription products purchased in health food stores or over the web may be of value (and undoubtedly many are), these products are entirely unregulated and by act of Congress the Food and Drug Administration has no authority over them, and so a certain level of caution may be appropriate. Articles such as this also serve as a reminder that "natural" is not the same as “safe”. Lead, mercury, and arsenic are all natural substances, but can be toxic when ingested.

JAMA abstract

Ayurvedic plants

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