Sunday, May 01, 2016

Heavy metals in Ayurvedic herbs and traditional Ayurvedic formulations

The heavy metal contamination of ayurvedic medicines is a much talked - about subject these days. The controversy began with the publication of Saper et al in Journal of American Medical Association Volume 292: pages 2868-2873 in 2004. They collected some herbo-mineral preparations from Boston area and analyzed the heavy metal content.  These products were prepared with inorganic substances like arsenic, mercury etc and therefore, their presence was not at all surprising.  However, Saper et al misconstrued  the data and asserted that all ayurvedic medicines are toxic. This paper was followed by many others reporting that Ayurvedic medicines are loaded with heavy metals. These reports were given global publicity through Western print media, TV channels, radio stations and the internet.
The publicity campaign was so successful that now even Ayurvedic physicians believe that ayurvedic medicines contain heavy metals!

Almost all these studies were based on information obtained from ayurvedic medicines prepared from calcined metals and inorganic substances like mercury, arsenic sulphide, antimony and so on. No information is available on the content of heavy metals in traditional ayurvedic medicines prepared exclusively from herbs. Twelve years have elapsed and not even one CSIR institute or the Bureau of Indian Standards had the thoughtfulness to carry out a dispassionate enquiry into the so-called presence of lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury in traditional ayurvedic formulations prepared exclusively using herbs. A small band of researchers in CARe Keralam Ltd,  an Ayurveda consortium in Chalakudi, Kerala, India has finally published a research paper in Aryavaidyan (Volume 28, No.2, published by Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal) demonstrating that 126 ayurvedic formulations produced by 32 companies and 34 common ayurvedic herbs collected from all geographical regions of India contained these heavy metals in quantities well below the limits set by Government of India.

Interestingly, this pro-Ayurveda study was conducted by these non-Ayurveda persons.

Read complete Article and research paper here -
http://ayurveda-foryou.com/heavy_metals/heavymetals-in-ayurvedicmedicines.html 
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