Traditional Chinese insomnia product sparks warning from Health Canada over excessive mercury

[Chung Lien Kulin Brand] Anshen Bunai Pian – Foreign Product Alert 2012-01-25 – Health Canada.

[Chung Lien Kulin Brand] Anshen Bunai Pian is promoted as a traditional Chinese medicine used for restlessness and insomnia symptoms in adults.

The Hong Kong Department of Health (DH) warned consumers to not use this product after it was found to contain mercury at levels 55 times higher than DH permissible limits.

This mercury level exceeds Health Canada’s permissible limits as well.

Ingestion of excessive amounts of mercury, which is a heavy metal, poses serious health risks because it may accumulate in vital organs of the body. Children are most susceptible to the toxic effects of heavy metals.

Credit: @Whatstheharm and @PharmacistScott on Twitter

Health Canada notes that this product is not for sale in the country but people may bring it in from other places. This is a SERIOUSLY high level of mercury. NEVER trust TCM products purchased abroad or online. You do not know what is in them. Also note that even in the U.S., dietary supplements are not regulated as stringently or tested for safety or efficacy like prescription drugs or conventional remedies are. Buyer beware.

Visit What’s the Harm for more on the dangers of alt med products and believing in pseudoscience.