Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure

Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure
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Triphala, a combination of three fruits—amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki—is the most commonly used herbal formulation in Ayurvedic medicine, and may have powerful anticancer properties. Unfortunately, one in five Ayurvedic herbal dietary supplements were found contaminated with lead, mercury, and/or arsenic.

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In terms of antioxidant power, I couldn’t imagine anything ever beating out cloves. But then, silly as a gooseberry comes along. But then, in a whole ‘nother league, triphala. Triphala is the most commonly used herbal formulation in all of Ayurvedic medicine. “Tri” means “three”; “phala” (in Sanskrit) means “fruits.” It’s just a combination of three fruits: Indian gooseberries (amla), bibhitaki fruit, and  haritake fruit. It’s not some drug, some extract, but just three types of fruits, dried and crushed into powder. What can it do? Well, antioxidant-wise, one little pinch between your fingertips, which would cost a fraction of a penny, has as much antioxidant power as about a cup of blueberries. We’re in the big leagues, here!

It seems to be able to do all the same amla tricks: preferentially wiping out breast cancer cells in vitro, but leaving normal breast cells relatively alone. Pancreatic cancer, too. By the time this concentration of triphala was reached, 95% of the pancreatic cancer cells were dead. As you can see, only 10% of the cancer cells survived. If triphala were less toxic to normal pancreas cells, we’d expect to see something like this. And if it were completely nontoxic to normal cells, we’d expect maybe this. But what they actually found was this. It actually kind of went out of its way to protect the good cells while killing off the bad.

Quoting from a review, recently “All these reports suggest the effectiveness of triphala as a nontoxic selective antineoplastic [anticancer] agent.” Meaning, nontoxic to normal cells at doses toxic to tumor cells. That’s what we want.

So what’s not to like? 2011 analysis: “Detection of toxic heavy metals and pesticide residue in herbal plants which are commonly used in the herbal formulations.” Uh oh. We started recognizing it as a problem about a decade ago, when the CDC started noticing cases of “Lead Poisoning Associated with Ayurvedic Medications.” Fatal infant brain disease, paralysis, deafness.

So, researchers in Boston went to every Indian market within 20 miles, and picked up every Ayurvedic herbal medicine product they could find. One in five contained lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. And that’s just a little bit. They found out that those suffering Ayurvedic lead poisoning had higher lead levels than those suffering lead paint removal poisoning!

And it’s not just Boston. A national survey a few years ago found that women using Ayurvedic herbs had lead levels 24% higher than non-users.

As spelled out in an editorial in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences: “Ayurvedic lead poisoning [is] an under-recognized, international problem.”

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 Daniel R. Blume / flickr

In terms of antioxidant power, I couldn’t imagine anything ever beating out cloves. But then, silly as a gooseberry comes along. But then, in a whole ‘nother league, triphala. Triphala is the most commonly used herbal formulation in all of Ayurvedic medicine. “Tri” means “three”; “phala” (in Sanskrit) means “fruits.” It’s just a combination of three fruits: Indian gooseberries (amla), bibhitaki fruit, and  haritake fruit. It’s not some drug, some extract, but just three types of fruits, dried and crushed into powder. What can it do? Well, antioxidant-wise, one little pinch between your fingertips, which would cost a fraction of a penny, has as much antioxidant power as about a cup of blueberries. We’re in the big leagues, here!

It seems to be able to do all the same amla tricks: preferentially wiping out breast cancer cells in vitro, but leaving normal breast cells relatively alone. Pancreatic cancer, too. By the time this concentration of triphala was reached, 95% of the pancreatic cancer cells were dead. As you can see, only 10% of the cancer cells survived. If triphala were less toxic to normal pancreas cells, we’d expect to see something like this. And if it were completely nontoxic to normal cells, we’d expect maybe this. But what they actually found was this. It actually kind of went out of its way to protect the good cells while killing off the bad.

Quoting from a review, recently “All these reports suggest the effectiveness of triphala as a nontoxic selective antineoplastic [anticancer] agent.” Meaning, nontoxic to normal cells at doses toxic to tumor cells. That’s what we want.

So what’s not to like? 2011 analysis: “Detection of toxic heavy metals and pesticide residue in herbal plants which are commonly used in the herbal formulations.” Uh oh. We started recognizing it as a problem about a decade ago, when the CDC started noticing cases of “Lead Poisoning Associated with Ayurvedic Medications.” Fatal infant brain disease, paralysis, deafness.

So, researchers in Boston went to every Indian market within 20 miles, and picked up every Ayurvedic herbal medicine product they could find. One in five contained lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. And that’s just a little bit. They found out that those suffering Ayurvedic lead poisoning had higher lead levels than those suffering lead paint removal poisoning!

And it’s not just Boston. A national survey a few years ago found that women using Ayurvedic herbs had lead levels 24% higher than non-users.

As spelled out in an editorial in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences: “Ayurvedic lead poisoning [is] an under-recognized, international problem.”

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 Daniel R. Blume / flickr

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out my other videos on Ayurvedic medicine, and don’t miss all my videos on mercury.  

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: The Science on Açaí Berries, and Probiotics and Diarrhea.

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

96 responses to “Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure

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  1. Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check back for the other videos on Ayurvedic medicine and don’t miss all the videos on mercury. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

    1. Per the natural medicines database, ashwagandha seems promising for stress and anxiety. Do you have any information on ashwagandha or maca?

      Thank you!

      Megan Brame, PA-C

    2. i am using haritaki whole dried and put in water over night and i drink the juice. Deep Premium brand, is this good and should i drink it everyday

    3. I found this video because I’ve been experiencing flu like symptoms like headache, low grade fever, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, sore throat, but I have this feeling like it’s food poisoning or something diet related. The only new introductions to my daily regimen that I can recall was drinking a “tea” made from a tablespoon of Fine Ashwaganda powder from India by Blue Lily Organics and taking a Triphala supplement from Planetary Herbals. I did some internet searching and ended up on this video, so now I’m currently trying to find out the source manufacturers of those products to cross reference them with those listed in the tables of some of the studies you’ve cited. I understand that there is a myriad of other possibilities causing these symptoms, including the obvious flu virus, but my question is: Is it at all likely these symptoms could simply be a result of a detoxing effect from taking Triphala and Ashwaganha one time? I appreciate your input!

      1. Daniel, while this site cannot diagnose or give opinions on what might be causing your symptoms, I can advise that as you’ve stated “flu” symptoms can have many causes. Certainly looking at something you just added to your daily lifestyle makes sense and tracing down some information on the purlity of the product would be wise before taking any more. If your symptoms are resolving, guessing whether it is due to a contaminant or a “detoxifying effect” may not be worth investigating. If you find the tea seems uncontaminated and it causes further symptoms it would be wise to refrain and just focus on eating whole plant-based foods including more traditional teas. Dr. Greger has some wise comments on tea you may want to look at. Wishes for improved health, Joan-Nurse Educator-NF Volunteer

        1. Thank you for your response! I did switch to other adaptogens like astragalus and holy basil and haven’t used that ashwaganda and triphala since. I am feeling better now and so I may never know. It’s tricky to know exactly when experimenting with multiple immune-boosters and also the possibility of heavy metal contamination. I suppose if others in my household experience similar symptoms, we can infer that it might have been a bug of some sort. I’ll probably start introducing new things one at a time for three days like we do with our babies to have a little more of a control factor. Thanks Joan and Dr. Greger! I truly appreciate what you do!

  2. Hi There,

    Your videos on Amla have been fascinating and I’d like to give some a try. However, I’ve long been aware that food and natural medicine products from China and India are generally not to be trusted due to contamination from heavy metals and who knows what else.

    How confident can you be to go to an Indian food store and purchase Amla powder? Would it not be just as potentially contaminated with heavy metals as the Ayurvedic medicines were in the study featured in this video?

    Also, what would be a safe dosage and at the same time useful dosage of Amla powder?

    Thanks

    1. Very reputed Ayurvedic manufacturers like Zandu, Dabur, Baidyanath, Hamdard etc. have gained trust of Indian masses for centuries. Their products are subjected to Indian Government strict quality verifications. Had your suspicion been correct, then these companies could NOTm withstood the test of time.

      1. Hamdard – it is Unani medicine company (not Ayurvedic).
        Zandu, Dabur – not best choice. Not “very reputed”.
        Dabur may add supplements preservatives like Sodium Benzoate to jam (chyavanprash), methylparaben, methylparaben e.t.c.
        It’s not real (traditional) Ayurveda

        Very reputed Ayurvedic manufacturers are : AVS, AVN, AVP, SNA, Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala, Nagarjuna e.t.c (manufacturers mainly from Kerala)

        1. Organic India products are certified USDA organic. They are premium priced but according to their rep, they wait for 5 years to make the field organic again and then create crops of ayurvedic herbs out of it. They test each and every batch for heavy metals not just a dummy certificate. Also in India, winter season you can get fresh Amla fruits for just Rs. 25 per kg!.

          Finally keep in mind some ayurvedic medicines deliberately include metals for curing a disease, these must be use with caution and only for a limited time not for general well being.

  3. Does anyone have any information on contamination in ashwagandha root powder? I read an article that it increases glutathione, SOD, and catalase levels as well as being excellent for anxiety and is taken in India as a general tonic. But if it has lead, mercury or arsenic, it might be doing me more harm than good.

    1. From experience, it seems that ashwagandha is not good for those with psoriasis. Perhaps it perks up energy and it is not the kind that someone with an auto immune disease needs. I thought it was worth a try and then broke out in psoriasis. I researched that auto immune diseases should avoid ashwagandha as well as cinnamon.

    1. This is not an endorsement, but one source, Banyan Botanicals, says that their products are USDA Organic and says they test for Microbiologicals, Heavy Metals, Pesticides, and Identification. They say they are “fully compliant with the USDA’s National Organic Program, ANSI Standard 173, AHPA standards and the new cGMP for Dietary Supplements.” They list their Quality Control info here: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/quality-control.html

      What do you think, Dr. Gregor? Thanks!

      1. I am not sure. Some other study mentioned in another video shows their triphala guggulu (triphala combined with guggulu) contaminated. I believe the study was from 2008 and I don’t know if they were organic, sourced ingredients from different places, or followed different standards then. I also do not know where the contamination comes from: soil or contamination during processing. There is a therapy named rasa shastra which uses metals and minerals though most or all of the formulas tested don’t traditionally include them.

  4. For those worried about contamination issues with these herbs, I highly recommend purchasing organic versions of them online from Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index2.html), a bulk herb and spice supplier with a long history and good reputation for quality. (No, I don’t have any affiliation with them other than to be a happy customer :-) They sell organic amla and triphala powder as well for those who, like me, have been excitedly following Dr. Greger’s videos and want to rush out and buy some.

  5. At Mountain Rose Herbs they still tout Amla as having tons of Vitamin C. I thought I saw on this site Dr. Greger dispelling the belief that Amla has Vit. C.

      1. Thanks Doctor.

        I would like to use a safe form if amla. I bought a few different versions of it. Frozen. Sweet/dried. I also tried. Chyawanprash. Is that also good for you. It says it is mostly amla. Just wondering if you had a point of view on this. I am looking forward to your next post.

    1. I have an Indian spice store in my neighborhood I go to, but I’ve found it in a few other such stores around town (near DC where I live).

      1. How do you know from which store you can buy Amla? Do you have any guidelines? Can we trust the online stores that say it is organic?

        1.  Typically, if you visit a local Indian store, they will sell various forms of Amla. From powdered, frozen and dried. I personally prefer powdered.

  6. Amla is a fruit grouped together with other foods, herbs and spices. “The agents which cure body and mental diseases, delay old age, increase mental power, generating power, vital energy, eyesight, impart intelligence, memory, aid proper digestion and clear complexion are Rasayana.”

    Chyawanprash is a tonic that’s made from dozens of substances. I think the story goes one elderly fellow married a young woman and so asked for an elixor to restore his vitality. It’s commonly used in India by the general popuation during winter to maintain immunity — perhaps only a side effect of marketing. But it’s main purpose is immunity.

    There are several main Indian ayurvedic companies you can find here such as Dabur, Himalaya, and Sandhu. I tend to use those companies (since I can find them). I’m not sure if the studies of metal findings list which formulations in which they were found. If mercury was in something particular, it should be because the formula asks for it. I have heard of it’s use but don’t know much about it since I don’t “practice” ayurveda and none of the books in English (I’ve found) talk much about it. If metals were found in pure herbs or triphala, perhaps it is because of like what you see with soy warnings (this product made in a facility that …). Not sure if this is really common.

    I also use Banyan Botanicals (like for triphala) for the herbs I use more regularly (and that they offer). They say organic so I’d guess it probably is. There isn’t much else out there (from US companies) anyway. As far as safety of Indian companies, I have talked (only a bit but not in detail) to doctors that say bigger companies should be safe since they’re tested. But who knows. For Chyawanprash, I have heard of one tests of different brands in an Indian magazine. Am trying to ask someone for a copy of that. And will try to find out more.

  7. Wow. Thank you. Unfortunately, I just ordered some amla online (organic- but who knows?)
    Do you have a brand or source to recommend for these herbs. Amla and triphala in particular? I have a friend just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and want to suggest the triphala. Thank you, Liz.

    1. I buy triphala from Gaia Herbs in NC.I buy it at Sprouts. From the box: “At Gaia Herbs’ 250-acre certified organic farm and our on-site analytical lab – we plant, grow, harvest and research to optimize best practices in certified organic cultivation of over 40 crops annually.” Each bottle is numbered, and online you can “Track the life story of each herb in you bottle by entering its ID# at GaiaHerbs.com. PURITY: Trace the origin of each herb back to its source. INTEGRITY: See analytical results for this product. POTENCY: Validate each herb’s full phytochemical complex.” “Laboratory tested for purity, Free of heavy-metal toxicity.”

  8. Any products coming from the 3rd world should be tested. We test all our products twice for heavy metals and live organisms. We are completely transparent with all test results and meet all APHA standards. http://www.mapi.com Alan Marks, CEO, Maharishi Ayurveda Products Int.

    1. LOVE your organic Amla tablets. I use it often and I am going to continue (I also take organic ground fenugreek seeds, curcumin and a couple others). Is the MAPI Amla berry US grown? Thanks again!

      Dr. Greger, as always, OUTSTANDING reporting. You are amazing.

      1. SouthBay. The amla is sourced and manufactured in India. It is tested in labs in India and then again when it arrives in the US. We are happy to share test results. Additionally, our amla is made according to the ancient texts. Is it not just dried and ground, rather is is produced using a 21 step process.

  9. I wasn’t aware of ayurveda as a brand of medicinal foodstuff, but as ‘life science’, an analytical device to bring health and balance not only to people but to the environment. Seems to me the use of the term “Ayurveda” has been misused in this video. Don’t you think?

  10. Ghee seems to be popular in Ayurvedic medicine…lots of claims of
    health benefits. Isn’t it just a slightly different version of butter?
    Would love to see a video about it’s downsides (since all I seem to find
    are articles by proponents of it).

    1. Ghee is also highly valued in classical ayurvedic texts though I also do not know. Raising our own cows in an uncontaminated environment with them eating their natural diet in their natural habitat is quite different from modern processing.

  11. If report says that one in five Triphala preparations contains dreaded chemicals like Arsenic / Lead / Mercury, then how one Indian wiull consume this nectar of God, safely ? What is the brand name of manufacturers in India whose preparatiosn are really safe ?

    1. Well you guys are very much confused by the Doctors in the US who are driven by the Pharma Companies (Insurance huh in US and compare it with Indian system). My Father is also suffereing with severe Grade 3 Cirrhosis with Acute Ascitis and Bleeding PHG. But he is still on Ayurvedic supplements and able to survive for yet another days since last 2 years.

      Well, I agree that some of the Ayurvedic products have heavy-metals and they intentionally add them. These Products have to be given only in rarest and critical condition when no primary secondary or tertiary level medicines work.

      Do we remember Zinc (Yashad Bhasma)! When ‘West’ used to say it is lethal but not Copper and Zinc Supplements are proven to be effective.

      Similarly Mica (which is slightly Poisonous) is used in Ayurveda. For one disease there are various paths in Ayurveda. It is upto you to demand the Heavy-metal free pathway for the treatment.
      Borax which is also called Tankan is excellent Anbiotic and Anti-Aging for applying ointments etc. I have been using the ointments and oral pills multiple times since my childhood and found to be perfect.

      Do you guys know that some of the Allopathic system have the Hormonal Medicines which are manufactured using Human/Hares Urine. In Indian distilled (Please read it again as Distilled) urine has been used in ayurvedic system to heal the metobolism.

      And RadioActive Barium, why it is used by the Doctors??
      Why do you consume Pottasium Chloride in Soups, Noodles and Chineese Continental items?
      Why MSGs and MSG-likes are added for tastes?

      So, the final solution is to have get the disease diagnosed with the best Ayurvedic Practitioner, ask him/her to offer the standard and best medicines of brands like Dabur, Baidhyanath, Sandu or Zhandu and follow the strict dietery restrictions and guidelinesas per your Doctor or Ayurvedic Practitioner.

      But please do not fell into any trap just by any MD/MS Doctors. They could be good in their profession but not always. Allopathic is best in its scope and so as Ayurveda and practitioners in both of them should not be sought for their mixed-advices.

      At the end, I hope everyone in this world should get the peaceful social life without any physiological problems. Use your senses and get the problem solved and diseases cured, be it get done by Allopathic or Ayurvedic. And, spread the magical experience all across your stretch.

      Dhanyawad and Om Shanti OM

    2. It doesn’t .this bloger omiting nonsense.only heavy metal in ayurveda is used in bhasma medicine..amala powder is made by drying amala fruit on exposure than its grinded into powder that’s all!looks like american don’t buy shitY cancer giving sythentic vitamins..

  12. It would be nice to know which brands to avoid and which ones to buy! Has anyone studied this – or dared to publish the brand names of the toxic triphala products? It seems this should be the law! Are these product brand names mentioned in the actual study but not mentioned in the video? If so could you please do a new video mentioning the brand names to be avoided. Is the problem completely avoided by buying organic Triphala products? Or are there some organic brands that are still contaminated with heavy metals?

  13. have you looked into mike adams’ research on the heavy metal retention factor? essentially what they’ve found is whole foods actually retain toxins in the fiber structure so that they are not absorbed into the body. different plants retain different amounts of different things, but just because the lead is found in the plant doesn’t mean its being absorbed into the body

  14. I am looking for an herbal treatment for addressing non stop, high pitch bilateral, peripheral tinnitus, most likely related to stress/ cortisol/ kidney/liver. Thank you.

  15. The title is a bit misleading “some ayurvedic medicine worse than lead paint exposure” It is not the medicines that are worse (as the title suggests). It is that some companies’ preparations have poisonous additives like lead.

  16. Of course the CDC is going to refute natural treatments! Natural treatments make them NO money; always always follow the money trail. They say pesticides are dangerous when it comes to natural supplements, and yet GMO foods laden with pesticides are “safe” according to the CDC and FDA. Come on, this type of information where the people have a financial interest, is completely false.

  17. Banyan Botanicals has an extensive range of Ayurvedic herbs, all tested for contaminants. It’s based in New Mexico so it has to comply with US manufacturing guidelines, as well as doing voluntary testing. Highly recommended–they’re nice people, too.

  18. Please share with me whatever you may know about the health-care-products of ‘Parampara Ayurved’ (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parampara-Ayurved/110215005692228). I’m trying to get as much information as possible from different sources about the health-care-products of ‘Parampara Ayurved’ & other similar organisations in the Indian market to fulfil the needs of 1 of my market-research-activities. Thanks a lot for sharing with me any & all relevant information.

  19. Wondering if these plants, one or three, can be grown locally where one could avoid the contaminations associated with commercial plant products manufacturing and contaminated/depleted soils. I garden regularly, as well as harvest wild-growing plants such as Ginseng, Dandelion, Nettles, Morels, Lambsquarter, Persimmon, Mulberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Walnuts, Mint, Pokeweed, etc. Maybe Indian super-herbs would grow here as well. Anybody?

  20. In consideration of all of our future with increasing pollution worldwide, yada yada….is there a watchdog entity or governing body or truthful certifying body that we can keep in mind for our purchases? Seems like a wild west sector of the business world (I think global discussion, thanks interwebnet, will help but we’re still in early days). I’m concerned I’ll have to seek out 50 different sources for reliable product and spend years reading material and blogs that may or may not have credible authors. If I could have the luxury of only having to look for less than 5 “approved” type of labels that could spread across 95% of the products we all want that would make like so much simpler. Am I searching for Bigfoot and his Alien cousins or is there a safe/simple way to shop and know I’m getting quality product? Thanks Dr. Greger for being a peer reviewed source. I just donated to your site, plan to again in the future as well, I really appreciate the effort.

  21. Hi there! Awesome site and the wealth of information is wonderful!
    I’ve heard that if you have a liver disease and take Amla alone or with ginger you may worsen the liver disease. Any studies on the matter?

  22. I’m not a big smoothie drinker, so buying amla powder was not that attractive to me. But I went by my regular local Indian market and picked up some Indian gooseberries canned in syrup and some chyawanprash jam. Both are good – I can see eating the jam all the time on bread; I’ll try mixing it in my tea as a tonic. The jam tastes a lot like thick tamarind paste with a lot of Christmas-y background spices. Sad to see this video about potential heavy metals, but it’s really unclear if these were found more in medicinal supplements like powders vs Ayurvedic-inspired foods. I’ve been eating imported foods from India for years so to be honest, I’m not gonna worry about it. Everything in moderation.

  23. This is total BS! My grandmother has been taking these products for years and she is 95 and still healthy. My dads’ 70 and he has been taking all ayurveda products for years. 1 billion population of which over half uses these products and you think it has high lead in them. Get a life.

  24. No ayurveda medicines can harm humans but main point is that it should be ayurvedic. Seen in this blog that some medicines are contaminated & contained with lead etc. So how can we consider it as ayurvedic medicines. nariveda.com is one which mission is to provide 100% natural ayurvedic products. Try it.

  25. We should not make blanket statement that all the Ayurvedic supplements are bad. We at Ayush do lot of due diligent to make sure all are products are heavy metal free. You can buy Ayush products without any fear of heavy metals. Most of our products are USDA organic and being in this profession for the last 40+ years I make sure that public is given right information.

  26. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed watching all of your videos for years now, as well as reading your recent book, How Not to Die. However, I have a question for you regarding the Triphala powder that I am currently using. is the “Banyan Botanicals Triphala Powder – USDA Organic, 1/2 Pound – Balancing Formula for Detoxification & Rejuvenation” one of the 4/5 that do not contain heavy metals? If it isn’t one of the safe ones, which ones are safe? Thanks again for all your wonderful work!

  27. See a few comments suggesting black nightshade in the formula Liver-care by Himalaya is poisonous – this is incorrect as not all nightshades are toxic. This one has a long history of health benefits.

  28. Any suggestions for a replacement for Himalaya Livercare which I’ve been buying from my local health food store and recently started to buy online – now the product is being labeled under California prop 65 as containing lead and being told will not ship to California without a label. Is this overblown or a real concern?

  29. Yes, Indian herbs, are frequently contaminated by e.g. heavy metals. But there are companies they test and sell quality products free of such contaminants. One such is Banyan Botanicals (no commercial interest).

  30. We got good Quality Medicinal,Natural Pure Green Herb,Wax,marijuana,,Cannabis Oil,Seed,Hash cure cancer and chronic pains contact us for info Text/call..7744821204

  31. Really funny. People talk so much about mercury. Yes there is mercury in Tulsi, not only in Tulsi but also in Salmon which is a fish variety which most white skinned people eat.

    Not to this surprise responding to this statement “Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure” I would like to tell this doctor that there are some American MNC which uses Titanium Dioxide as an ingredient in their paste which is also a raw material in manufacturing paint.

    There is only one question I have to this doctor. Is the medicine which he is prescribing to patients is organic or inorganic ? People may not be able to answer this question. All the medicines are derived by using one Carbon atom and one Hydrogen atom in the form of Organic Chemistry creating thousand of compounds.

    Though I don’t follow any one particular form of treatment, is it not far better to use a natural substances as a cure rather these organic based medicines ?

    When there is organic farming, why not organic medicine ? This is the problem with Organic Chemistry a preservative Sodium Benzoate which is been used as food preservative for more than 80 years has seen a ban now. So the US FDA is free to include chemical ingredients and ban these as and when they want.

    The same thing with Endosulphan which was introduced in 1940 and has seen a ban now in early 2000’s.

    My conclusion is anything natural is far better than chemical based formulations and another thing is AYUSH which also includes Ayurveda should have a body on its own and should never be confused with American chemical based testing laboratory . Its like comparing two different species like humans and animals. Both are entirely different entities and can never be equated.

    1. Sorry, there is a mistake in my statement.

      Though I don’t follow any one particular form of treatment, is it not far better to use a natural substances as a cure rather these organic based medicines ?

      The last sentence should read as inorganic based medicine.

  32. I used to take Bacopa for memory….. Man it’s amazing. Because of everything I’m hearing about ayurverdic medicine contamination though I’m going to start growing my own. Bacopa can actually grow it nitrate rich water without soil. I’m assuming this would eliminate the chance that it could become contaminated with lead or other heavy metals. At least I hope so? Any suggestions?

  33. In the video, all the positive benefits of Triphala are mentioned while when it comes to Lead heavy metal content, none of the showcased scientific papers show Lead heavy metal contamination in Triphala! To illustrate this further, take the first paper that appears in the video “Detection of toxic heavy metals..commonly used in herbal formulations Rao et. al., 2010.” If one reads this paper fully, the conclusion of this report is “Heavy metals and pesticide residue were found below detection limits in all the samples”. Amazing!! Among one of the two papers from Saper et. al., 2004, it does not list Triphala as the tested sample in the study! Similarly, there is no mention of any ayurvedic medicine tested for heavy metals in another paper from Kales et. al., 2009! It is prominent that almost all the scientific papers shown in the video that are putting spotlight on heavy metal contamination of ayurvedic medicines are written by the scientists Kales and Saper. Are they the only two experts on this issue? Looks like Triphala is giving tough competition to other chemical-based allopathic medicines and this video depicts clear fault finding arguments for Triphala that are not scientifically validated.

    1. All I want to know is Tulsi the same as Triphala???? I have purchased some and was shocked to say it helps you lose weight, etc.etc. I thought I was purchasing Tulsi powder? I cannot see that these are one and the same? I wanted it for breathing difficulties, I don’t need to lose weight etc.etc. I wish I could find the answer because the company on ebay advertise TULSI?? And I received a product called Triphala to which I had never heard of? I have tried every website going and I still cannot find the answer? But what I did find was the fact that Tulsi and Triphala appear to be two entirely different herbs? Rosina Lock London

  34. I have deliberately taken ayurvedic medicines made with mercury and arsenic and processed in the traditional way and nothing bad happened. In fact mercury levels were tested and found within the normal range. Not suggesting anyone do this without caution but check out the studies that have been done on even ayurvedically processed lead that found no harm in test animals.

  35. I buy haritaki and amla ( two of the ingredients of triphala ) from an indian company , gopala ayurveda, that mentions in their packaging, free from heavy metals, organic, usda approved. Should i trust them ?

  36. Charlotte,

    May I suggest that you contact the firm selling the products and specifically ask for the analysis of the lot and batch records of your specific supplement. If they refuse or fail to provide you proof you might want to consider contacting the FDA.

    As part of good manufacturing process (GMP) it’s imperative for the firms to have a means of evaluating the raw materials used, not to just accept the (COA) certificate of analysis provided by the seller. If you only get that level of response…a COA….find another option or you can have samples evaluated at say your local college or even high school as a science project….. keep in mind that that’s not 100% accurate, but probably close enough to decide on what to do.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  37. Can “USDA certified organic” be trusted to test for all the said toxins and chemicals? It seems the powder is easily attainable with this certification.

  38. Where is the lead coming from? Is this from lead in pewter metal that perhaps comes in contact with the plant materials during processing? Or is this lead in the soil from the use of leaded gasoline over the years polluting the land and water? How could lead contamination be so bad in this sort of thing?

  39. Hi THank you for the valuable information here. Is there any information on ayurvedic medicines like ” fertisol”, garbhadharini vati” and “K-vigo” having heavy doses of metal? It will be very useful to know that as I took them a year ago and miscarried . Any help is greatly appreciated.

  40. I am in the UK – just checked my packet of alma – I bought from the Detox people website e- its supposed to be organic produce of India, it has Soil Association logo so can only hope they’re telling the truth – who knows with these things.

    I suppose the same is true of all other produce including fresh – my practitioner told me the fresh ginger root in Sainsbury’s is from China where the soil is not good, so I now buy fresh organic ginger root from Riverford (much small but much more powerful in taste!).

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