Monday, October 27, 2008

Alternative Medicine And Heavy Metal Poisoning

ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2008) — Many Ayurvedic medicines can contain dangerous quantities of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, thallium and arsenic, according to clinical toxicology specialists in London writing in the International Journal of Environment and Health.
The use of Ayurvedic medicines has become popular in North America, Europe and Australasia and has spread beyond the cultural and ethnic populations from which the traditional medicine practices originated. Dargan and colleagues point out that there have been numerous reports of clinically significant heavy metal poisoning related to its use.

Practitioners may use individual herbal extracts or a mixture of herbal extracts with vegetable, animal and mineral products. It is a basic principle of Ayurveda that practitioners can use anything as a drug. Heavy metals are generally not present as contaminants but practitioners add them intentionally. In Ayurveda a balance of the metals, including lead, copper, gold, iron, mercury, silver, tin, zinc are considered to be essential for normal functioning of the human body and an important component of good health.

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