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High concentration of heavy metals in Herbal medicines

Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat// has been proved to be indispensable for life. But I go marching on. -George Bernard Shaw

The human body is designed to function at an optimal range possible to preserve the health of an individual. Every cell (Eg. liver cell, a brain cell, a bone cell, etc) in our body is programmed to perform a specific function. And along with this, detoxifying is part of the nature of every cell as well.

The cell however, cannot function on it’s own. It is dependent on certain enzymes, metal and other such compounds. Metals such as aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, lead and mercury have no none biological function. Arsenic, copper, iron, nickel are necessary at low concentrations. However, at high levels of accumulation, they are capable of causing serious health problems.

Heavy metals disrupt metabolic function in two basic ways. First, they accumulate and thereby disrupt function in vital organs and glands such as the heart, brain, kidneys, bone, liver, etc. Secondly, they displace vital nutritional minerals from their original place thereby, hindering biological function. It is however impossible to live in an environment free of heavy metals. There are many ways by which these toxins can be absorbed into the body such as consumption of foods, beverages, skin exposure and the inhaled air.

The recent reports of high concentration of heavy metals in ayurvedic or herbal preparations have raised much concern and controversy. According to a study that has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), one of five Ayurvedic herbal medical products (HMPs), produced in South Asia contains potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. Furthermore, the herbal products are marketed as dietary supplements and therefore do not require proof of safety or efficacy prior to their marketing.


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