City authorities in Durban have issued a warning to customers who bought an over-the-counter skincare product after eight people were hospitalised.
The Daily News reported that officials were now looking for other customers of the ayurvedic product Skintocare, which is imported from India and available from homeopaths and health shops.
Durban officials found the product contained high levels of lead.
Most of the patients were teenage girls and taking the product in capsule form for treatment of acne and skin blemishes.
City health authorities launched a probe of the product, Skintocare – manufactured by Indian company Bacfo Pharmaceuticals – after being tipped of by a haematologist who was treating a patient.
Skintocare is an ayurvedic preparation imported from India and has been available through health shops and homeopaths.
The product was advertised as a research-based formulation consisting of antimicrobial, blood purifying, anti-itching, and astringent ingredients, which worked to remove the cause of blemishes, dark spots, and acne by removing toxins stored in the body.
Ayurvedic medicine is old and pre-science. To say it is “research based” is a bit disingenuous since its NOT the same kind of research that goes into your clinically tested drugs. It’s based on ideas of harmony and balance. But it appears from this case that the treatment was not subjected to quality and safety testing. The same can be said for dietary supplements and many complementary meds in other countries. When this is the situation, you don’t know what you are buying. It may even be toxic.