Transcript: Get the Lead Out
How do toxic heavy metals get into ayurvedic medicines in the first place? In most cases, high levels of metals in Ayurvedic traditional preparations result from intentional incorporation of certain metallic preparations like lead oxide, mercury sulfide, arsenic trioxide. Not to worry, though. The heavy metals are claimed to be detoxified by, for example, heating and cooling the herbal mixtures in cow's urine.
This is not just an India issue. Traditional medicines from around the world incorporate these poisons. In the Middle East, "saoott" is used as a teething powder for infants. It's 51% lead. One of a number of black lead-containig substances used as teething powder.
Bokhoor is a Middle Eastern practice of burning lead sulphides to produce pleasant fumes to calm infants. They'll be calm all right.
Traditional Latin American medicines include "azarcon" and "greta" -- almost pure lead, used to treat constipation.
In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, mercury in considered to have a tranquilizing and (if you can believe it) detoxifying effect.
But wait a second. Haven't these remedies been used for centuries? Sure, but that doesn't mean they're safe. In the West, let's not forget that blood letting was among the most common medical practices performed by doctors for almost 2,000 years.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is transcript contributed by Bruce A. Hamilton.
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