Are you taking any Ayurvedic Medicines that contain Bbhasmas (ashes) of Metals? eg
- Mahayograj Guggulu
- Ekangvir Ras or
- Manasmithra Vatika
If so, please stop immediately and ask your doctor for a blood lead test!
What’s going on?
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the most popular traditional medicines widely practised in India, Nepal and surrounding countries. This type of medicine is known for having ‘natural ingredients’, and is considered therapeutic for a range of adverse health effects.
An Australian 3 year old was found to have a notifiable blood lead level in August 2020, after taking one Ayurvedic medicine, Manasamithra vatika, for only 6 weeks, and The LEAD Group charity had the medicine analysed at Australia’s foremost government lab, which found it contains harmful amounts of lead (plus some mercury and arsenic). See the full story at https://www.lead.org.au/lanv21n1/LANv21n1-Two-child-cases-plus-two-leaded-products.pdf
In this particular case, the lead poisoned 3 year old was prescribed Manasmithra vatika (Manasamitram pills) by a “Senior Ayurveda Doctor” who has since been prohibited from practicing in September 2020. Manasamitra Gulika (one of over 20 names for this medication) contains ash of gold, silver and iron – any of which could explain the high lead concentration.
The Australian importer has stopped selling the pills but the Indian manufacturer Vasudeva Vilasam is still selling them online and there are 40,000 other manufacturers of Ayurvedic medicines who are undoubtedly making this and other metal bhasma-containing Ayurvedic medicines. Approximately one in five Ayurvedic medications contains dangerous levels of lead.
The LEAD Group charity invites individuals who take bhasma-containing Ayurvedic medicines to ask their GP to test their blood for lead and if lead is detected in the blood, test their medications (we can help minimise the cost of that) and complain to the manufacturers (we can help with that), demanding an end to the use of metal bhasmas in Ayurvedic medicines used globally. Please contact The LEAD Group on 1800626086.
A Brief Background on Ayurveda Medicine:
Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional form of medicine practised by approximately 80% of the population in subcontinental India over thousands of years. If you don’t test for lead in the blood, you could take leaded Ayurvedic medications for months or years and your Ayurvedic doctor might never alert you to the fact that many of your symptoms are actually a result of the heavy metals in the medication.
In the past 20 years, individuals using Ayurvedic medicines have been reported with high blood lead levels in many Western countries, most commonly when the ingredients include bhasmas or ashes of metals. Blood lead testing is extremely rare in India and other countries where Ayurveda is practised.
Contrary to the teaching that the heavy metals in Ayurveda medications are therapeutic due to being “purified” by the burning process, some 20% of Ayurvedic formulations have been shown to contain a wide range of heavy metals which are always toxic, most commonly lead at alarming levels causing injury to its victims.
Today, Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers like Vasudeva Vilasam even have ISO 9001 “quality assurance” certification, yet still sell toxic products, and you can even buy highly leaded Ekangvir Ras, for example on Amazon India, at https://www.amazon.in/Baidyanath-Ekangvir-Ras-40-tab/dp/B07QQJ4621#:~:text=Ingredients%3A,%2C%20Kuchala%2C%20Dhatura%2C%20Adrak
The Australian government simply advises that Australians only use those complementary medicines that are on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) ie buyer beware! Check your Ayurvedic medicines but don’t be surprised if NONE are found on the Register at https://www.tga.gov.au/
The state health department, NSW Health has been warning the public for at least 10 years about the risks of this type of complementary medicine yet they can still be readily sourced from Ayurvedic doctors, local ethnic grocery stores or overseas and no recall has been required for the Manas.
The Indian government has set up a special AYUSH Ministry to promote the use of Ayurvedic and other traditional medicines but to date their website www.ayush.gov.in contains not one single warning about toxic heavy metals in some Ayurvedic medications.
What can you do?
Do a web search for the ingredients of each Ayurvedic medication you take. Check if any contain any of the following or similar terms:
Incinerated metals/ ashes of metals: tin calx / Vanga Bhasma or Vangabhasma; silver / Rajat Bhasma; lead / Naga Bhasma or Nag Bhasma; iron / Loha Bhasma or Tikshna Loha Bhasma; mica / Abhraka Bhasma; iron oxide / Mandura Bhasma; mercuric sulphide / Rasa Sindura (Parada); manganese / Kantaloha Bhasma; copper / Tamra Bhasma; gold or sacred ash of gold / Swarna bhasma; etc.
If you find any of the above among the ingredients, stop taking them immediately and ask your doctor for a blood lead test ASAP.
If your doctor doesn’t know that Ayurvedic medicines can have intentionally added heavy metals, your doctor can contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 and they will likely be referred on to The LEAD Group.
Or you or your doctor can contact The LEAD Group directly via phone (within Australia) freecall 1800626086 or https://leadsafeworld.com/about-us/contact-us/ to report your blood lead level if lead is detected, and to organise laboratory analysis of the medication for lead.
If lead is detected in the Ayurvedic medication, complain directly to the supplier, importer and manufacturer.
Reach out to us in our Instagram and Facebook pages for more information on future-free lead poisoning prevention.
voices of those affected by leaded Ayurveda medications using the hashtag #EndLeadedAyurveda and #endLeadedAyurvedaNow on social media
this post and other news about leaded Ayurveda medications, the response of the companies to your complaints and your blood lead level on your social media platforms
and up-to-date on the news and protests going on
If you feel strongly about wanting to get the word out to the other billion or so people on the planet who currently believe all Ayurvedic medicines are safe, please Donate to The LEAD Group so we can ramp up our advocacy on this issue. See the link in our ‘Donations’ story highlight at https://leadsafeworld.com/donations/ – donations to our Lead Education and Abatement Fund (LEAF) are tax-deductible.
Sources & more reading
Can the lead poisoning of a 3 yr old in Australia help end lead poisoning from Ayurvedic medications globally? https://lead.org.au/lanv21n1/LANv21n1-03.pdf
Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning (Vella et al 2020); https://www.lead.org.au/lanv21n1/LANv21n1-08.pdf
Health effects of a blood lead level below 10 µg/dL in both adults and children and even below 1 µg/dL in pregnancy (Roberts et al 2020); https://www.lead.org.au/lanv21n1/LANv21n1-11.pdf
Lead is an issue beyond childhood: A fact sheet by LEAD Group volunteer Emily Choong, using extracts of media articles about the landmark Lancet lead article by Lanphear et al, March 2018 (Choong 2020); https://www.lead.org.au/lanv21n1/LANv21n1-10.pdf
Individuals can check to see if a practitioner is registered in Australia through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website at www.ahpra.gov.au