Friday, December 19, 2008

Presence of metals in Ayurvedic drugs within permissible limit

Published: December 19,2008

New Delhi, Dec 19 :India today denied that some Auyurvedic drugs manufactured by leading companies contained toxic heavy metals more than their permissible limit as reported in a US journal.

The article, which appeared in August 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), said detectable levels of lead, mercury or arsenic were found in some Ayurvedic products manufactured by Goodcare Pharma, Baidyanath, Maharishi Ayurved and Sharangdhar Pharmaceuticals.

The US Food and Drug Administration had urged the consumers to use caution with Ayurvedic products based on the information contained in the JAMA article, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said in the Rajya Sabha.

He said the government took immediate steps to test the samples of the drugs mentioned in the JAMA article in labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board of Laboratories (NABL).

" After examination it was found that no Indian-exported herbal Ayurvedic medicine contained toxic heavy metals more than the permissible limit,"he said.

Presence of heavy metals was not detected in purely herbal Ayurvedic formulations, he added.

The minister also informed the House that metals are essential ingredients of formulations in herbo-mineral and herbo-metallic preparations. However, they are permitted to be used only after due purification and only in small quantities to act as catalysts for activation of other herbal ingredients to increase the efficacy of the medicine.

Nevertheless, the Centre has made testing for heavy metals mandatory in all purely herbal Ayurved, Siddha and Unani medicines to be exported since January 2006, he added. [Source: PTI]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Basil - the new anti-ageing weapon
Holy Basil (Tulsi) which has been long used in Ayurvedic medicine and as a home remedy for treatment of colds, fever, coughs, and skin diseases, has now emerged as the best weapon to protect against the harmful effects of ageing, according to recent researches by the British Pharmaceutical Conference (BPC) in Manchester.

Although native to India, The Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) is commonly used for cooking purposes in the west, while in other parts of Asia it is used a rejuvenation drug to promote youthful state of physical and mental health. Ayurvedic medicine has been long using basil extract to treat several illnesses.

During their study, the pharmacy researchers noticed that the holy basil extract is effective in elimination of harmful molecules and safeguards against damages caused by few free radicals found in key organs such as the liver, heart and brain.