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Warning: Lead in traditional medicines

warningmedicines.jpgLead. This toxic metal seems to be found everywhere from children?s toys to food products. And now it?s also found in traditional medicines.

Immigrants in the US have brought over traditional remedies from their native lands. While most of these age-old remedies are safe, a recent report shows that some may actually contain large amounts of lead and are therefore toxic. Examples cited were the Mexican tummy medications greta, azarcon and rueda and the ayurvedic medicines ghasard and mahayogaraj. But take note: lead didn`t get into the medications accidentally. In most cases, it was put there for a purpose ? in some cultures lead is believed to have healing powers!

Those most highly affected are children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 30% of lead poisoning cases in children may be due to traditional medicines.
Lead poisoning symptoms are easy to observe but difficult to relate to their root cause because they resemble symptoms of other ailments. These include lethargy, confusion, seizures, and learning problems. In severe cases, it can cause brain damage and death.


ABC News 22 Jan 08

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