Lead poisoning risks have been documented among pregnant women who took Ayurvedic medicine, according to U.S health researchers who issued a new warning on the safety of traditional pills.
New York City health authorities probed six cases since last year of women – all but one born in India – found to be at high risk of lead poisoning due to Ayurvedic medicine, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The pills – none made in the United States – are occasionally contaminated during manufacturing but some are ‘rasa shastra’, the Indian practice of intentionally adding metals, minerals or gems to medicine.
The medicines are advertised as helping with pregnancy and at least one boasted that it would boost the chances of having a boy instead of a girl, said the report by the U.S. government health organisation.
Tip: @DeborahBlum on Twitter
The products contained up to 2.4% lead and some also contained mercury and arsenic, also dangerous to consume. The FDA has been warning about products purchased over the internet and from outside the country. Manufacturers of these products may not accurately characterize what is in them or, as in this case, they did not disclose that use of these products may be harmful due to the ingredients they contain.
Lead, arsenic and mercury are natural. Here is a perfect example of how “natural” does not equal “good”. It’s NOT a good idea to ingest ANY questionable product or medicine, especially to help with pregnancy symptoms or concerns. Read the labels. Know what the risks are.