According to Health Canada, there are certain Ayurvedic medicines that could harm you rather than heal you. Ayurveda, an ancient form of medicine from India that works on both physical and spiritual planes is believed to be thousands of years old. Today, Ayurvedic practitioners still use traditional methods, including many herbal remedies, to treat patients and to prevent illness. Recently, some of these herbal remedies have been of concern.
On top of Health Canada’s concerns, the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore recently discovered that four unapproved Ayurvedic medicines contain excess lead and/or mercury. Ayurveda holds that detoxified heavy metals have health benefits, so it’s not that unusual that these metals are present in a remedy.
However, some of the companies manufacturing these products — being in India, they’re obviously outside the reach of North American standards — do not follow proper manufacturing processes, leaving in unusually toxic levels of certain heavy metals.
This is important because heavy metals can be extremely dangerous when they are ingested in high amounts. They build up in your organs over time, becoming toxic.
How do you know if you have lead poisoning? You might experience difficulty concentrating, dizziness, abdominal cramps or pain, blood pressure changes, muscle and joint pain, and/or unexplained weight loss. High levels of lead in your body could lead to serious problems such as kidney and/or brain damage.
If you have toxic levels of mercury in your system, you might experience changes in personality, including irritability and shyness, difficulties with vision or hearing, memory and concentration problems, nausea and vomiting, and tremors. If left unchecked, mercury could cause permanent damage to the nervous system and the kidneys. Both of these heavy metals are especially damaging to children, as their bodies are still developing. Keep in mind that they can still be toxic to people of all ages.
The four drugs pinpointed as possibly containing excess lead and/or mercury are:
— “Rhuma-7” capsules (Annai Aravindh Herbals) — “Diabecon” tablets (The Himalaya Drug Company) — “Diabecs” capsules (Laurel Herbal Products) — “Diabet Guard” granules (Goodcare Pharma Pvt. Ltd.)
Rhuma-7 is sold for joint pain treatment, while the other three Ayurvedic remedies are intended for diabetes control. If you’re taking any of these four remedies, discontinue use right away and see your doctor. If you’ve experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms of lead or mercury poisoning, you should seek medical attention right away.
It’s always best to be cautious when considering any product that has not been approved by your respective country’s drug administration, as it’s not necessarily subject to the same rigorous testing and standards. When it comes to taking any alternative treatment, talk to your doctor, do lots of research, and be careful when getting information from the Internet, as it’s not always accurate.