Get the Lead Out

Get the Lead Out
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Toxic heavy metal contamination of Ayurvedic dietary supplements is, in most cases, intentional.

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How do toxic heavy metals get into Ayurvedic medicines in the first place? In most cases, high levels of metals in Ayurvedic traditional herbal 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-containing substances used as teething powder.

Bokhoor is a Middle Eastern practice of burning lead sulfides 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 is 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 bloodletting 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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How do toxic heavy metals get into Ayurvedic medicines in the first place? In most cases, high levels of metals in Ayurvedic traditional herbal 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-containing substances used as teething powder.

Bokhoor is a Middle Eastern practice of burning lead sulfides 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 is 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 bloodletting 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Burns Archive via Newsweek.

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out my other videos on Ayurvedic medicine—especially Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse Than Lead Paint Exposure

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Mercury Testing Recommended Before Pregnancy, and Lead Poisoning Risk From Venison.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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