Ayurvedic Medicines May Contain Lead, Mercury or Arsenic - 2
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice that combines the use of numerous modalities, such as herbal medicine, massage and special diets, to promote wellness and prevent illness, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
There are two common practices in ayurveda — either herbal medicine alone, or herbal medicines combined with metals and gems, a practice known as rasa shastra.
In rasa shastra, herbs are combined with metals such as lead, mercury, iron and zinc, and gems such as pearl. Those that practice this type of ayurveda believe it is safe and therapeutic, according to the study.
Many traditional Indian practitioners believe quite strongly that if rasa shastra is done correctly, it is safe.
The researchers found that products manufactured in the United States were even more likely to contain the metals than those made in India, where the ayurvedic approach was first developed centuries ago. Furthermore, 75 percent of the products containing lead, mercury or arsenic advertised that they were manufactured using "Good Manufacturing Practices," which is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation meant to ensure quality.