Herbal Medications Hold Dangers, Pathologist Warn

Toxic metals are being found in a wide array of herbal medicines and potentially lethal doses, the Australian reports. According to the Australian, calling herbal and natural products “low-risk,” is far from accurate.
It seems that less expensive herbs with reduced efficacy are routinely swapped for items listed on product labels; in some cases, medicines are, said the Australian, “secretly adulterated with conventional prescription or over-the-counter drugs” to increase efficacy.
Australian expert, Professor Roger Byard, a forensic pathologist at the University of Adelaide, said his review linking hazards to <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">herbal medications was shocking, said the Australian. A prior review of 251 herbal products sold in the United States discovered arsenic in 36 products, mercury in 35, and lead in 24m said the Australian, citing Byard.

We have long written about the dangers from lead poisoning and have also long stressed that, once poisoned by lead, no organ system is immune, particularly the developing brain because negative influences can have long-lasting effects and can continue well into puberty and beyond. Most recently, we wrote that a study revealed that childhood exposure to lead can lead to permanent brain damage. In children and fetuses, lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems. Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. Experts agree that there is no safe level of lead.

Ingesting too much mercury can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, impaired dexterity and concentration in adults, risks for vision loss and numbness of fingers and toes, and blood pressure and fertility problems. Arsenic exposure has been tied to an increase in cancerous tumor growth, and to the existence of skin and bladder cancer, to name a few.

Sadly, during his research, Byard found a situation in which a five-year-old boy being treated with “Tibetan herbal vitamins” ingesting about 63 grams of lead over a period of four years, said the Australian. That amount is about 430 times the maximum allowance.

Byard found a situation in which another five-year-old boy who was diagnosed with retinal cancer in his eyes developed arsenic poisoning after receiving a traditional Indian remedy by his parents, said the Australian.

The paper was published in the US-based Journal of Forensic Sciences, and
explained that dangerous substances turning up in herbal remedies could be accidental or done on purpose; regardless, the Australian said that in either case, the danger is there.

“There’s a false perception that herbal remedies are safer than
manufactured medicines, when in fact many contain potentially lethal concentrations of arsenic, mercury and lead,” said Byard. “These substances may cause serious illnesses, exacerbate pre-existing health problems or result in death, particularly if taken in excess or injected rather than ingested.”

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