AyurvedaConsumer Alert

Lead poisoning associated with Ayurvedic drug treatment in India

Using herbal/Ayurvedic medicine may lead to plumbism as heavy metals are often incorporated in such medications with the belief that the metals have medicinal properties.

Researchers at Maulana Azad Medical College, in Delhi, India, report the experience of 1 patient.

First, the details.

  • The patient presented with symptoms of intestinal obstruction.

And, the results.

  • No specific cause could be determined.
  • Blood levels of lead were determined and diagnosis of lead poisoning ascertained.
  • The lead content of the medicine was analyzed, and it contained 30% w/w lead.

The bottom line?

This blog doesn’t usually report case studies, but the risk of heavy metal poisoning with Ayurvedic medicines. It’s an important reason inquire about such products as part of a patient’s drug history

For more information, reports from the Netherlands on the content of heavy metals in Ayurvedic medicines in the Dutch are summarized here. The blood levels of lead in Ayurvedic medicines in the US are listed here along with a further review.

Symptoms of arsenic, cadmium and lead are summarized here.

3/11/11 22:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.