The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Ayurvedic and the risk of heavy metal poisoning

    What’s been published recently suggests there’s likely to be a problem.

    Have we reached a tipping point?

    Dr. Paul Dargan of Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London and Dr. Indika Gawarammana at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka are working to determine the risks of heavy metals in ayurvedic medicine.

    Recent European legislation, say these researchers, may improve the safety of products bought in shops, but it will not cover personal imports or products prescribed by traditional medicine practitioners.

    It’s a basic principle of ayurveda that practitioners can use anything as a drug. Accordingly, rather that being treated as contaminates, heavy metals — lead, copper, gold, iron, mercury, silver, tin, zinc — are added intentionally to achieve a balance considered essential for normal functioning and good health.

    The bottom line?
    At what point do the presumed benefits of heavy metals become overwhelmed by their known toxicity?

    10/25/08 14:40 JR

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