India Uncut

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Heavy metal medicine

The Indian Express reports:
Recently in Delhi, a top banker’s wife was admitted to hospital after doctors detected a liver malfunction. On examining the patient’s blood samples, pathologists found very high levels of heavy metals — arsenic, lead and mercury. This baffled the doctors, till they were told the lady, in her 50s, had been taking ayurvedic medicines for the past five years to try and fix a constipation problem.
This is not an isolated incident, and a survey by the Harvard Medical School last year revealed that one in five ayurvedic products available in the US had "more than acceptable levels of heavy metal".

It isn't clear, of course, whether this is a problem with ayurveda itself or, as the article suggests, a case of "unsafe medical products being labelled 'ayurvedic' as a marketing gimmick and giving India’s ancient system of healing a bad name". Either way, be careful what medicine you're on. Metallica can lead to Megadeath.
amit varma, 12:08 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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