Drsyal’s Weblog

Heavy metals in Ayurvedic products !
October 6, 2008, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Ayurveda, Ayurveda medicine, Indian medicine

According to the study published recently in JAMA (Aug 27.2008), many Ayurvedic preparations sold through internet contains heavy metals above the normal limits. (“Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian- manufactured Ayurvedic medicines sold via the Internet”)

The study was done by expert doctors from western medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. The findings shows the actual alarming situation. This stuidy is very important atleast to take some steps against the illegal unauthentic sales of Ayurvedic preparations (vata,pitta, kapha teas, etc).

These preparations are not manufactured by standard pharmacies. Standard Pharmacies will not promote internet purchase because they are struggling to cope with the production need in India. The pharmacies which are not well known, promote this to sell their products. Some of these pharmacies collect the preparations from locals and pack it for trade.


As specified in the article “ Metals may be present due to the practice of rasa shastra“ Rasa shastra is the Ayurvedic section which deals with metallic preparations and its purification. These kinds of preparations are mostly used in North of India. This has developed in north India due to the influence of unani medicine because of the muslim invation in olden times.


In south, especially in Kerala the system of practice is different. They stick to classical herbal preparations even though some metalic preparations are told in classical texts.


Ayurvedic medicine should be taken by the advice of doctor. This is not a self healing medical system. If it is like that then there is no need to study around 5500 plus hours in the medical university to become an ayurvedic doctor.


Most of the herbs used in ayurveda got its own good and bad effect depending on its use. The preparations are introduced to a patient depending up on the nature of his body and mind, the disease, condition of the disease and stages of the disease. This is known only if you study the pharmacology, pathology, internal medicine, etc.


Ayurvedic preparations are not health supplements. Some of them we could tell, but most of them are not in this kind, it is having after effect if administered to a normal individual and in improper condition. Through the internet the preparations are obtained as supplements or teas. Is it possible to get antibiotics or other major drugs through internet?, even to get a deworming tablet in EU we need the receipt from doctor.


When any negative study report comes, the authorities try to escape mentioning “move to destroy ayurvedic system” rather than looking into it, finding the truth and to rectify the defects.


Why Chinese medicine is very famous among doctors and hospital and Indian medicine got stuck with esoteric and masseur groups? Chinese authorities worked for their system and were successful in convincing the medical society through out the world.


Indian authorities are having a major role for this pathetic situation. First they should regulate Indian system of medicine in the world because it is originated from Indian and the real medical study is happening there. Regulation should come for the practitioners, paramedical staffs and for the medicine and pharmacies.


The study is also a healthy one for Ayurvedic medicine because among the 193 products analysed only 20.7% of products having abnormal level of metals. This also reflects that if product manufactures stick on to the standard of manufacturing then 20.7 % can be reduced to zero.


Will this open the eyes of Authorities ?