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Indian Herbal Medicine Products Containing Lead and Mercury

This fact sheet provides information about certain herbal medicine products made in India found to contain high levels of lead or mercury.

Which herbal medicine products are known to contain lead or mercury?
The following products contain high levels of lead or mercury:

  • Jambrulin, made by Unjha Ayurvedic Pharmacy. Used for diabetes and sugar control.
  • Mahayogaraj Guggulu Enriched with Silver, made by Baidyanath. Used for rheumatic pain.
  • Lakshmivilash Ras (Nardiya), made by Baidyanath. Used for chronic fever, cold, and cough.
  • Maha Sudarshan, made by Arya Aushadhi Pharmaceutical Works. Used for flu and body ache.

Although certain traditional practices believe that lead and mercury can treat or cure health conditions, using products with lead or mercury is harmful to your health.

Why are lead and mercury dangerous?
Lead and mercury are poisonous metals that can damage the brain, nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys and/or other parts of the body. Mercury can cause birth defects. Children and pregnant women who use products containing lead or mercury are especially at risk.

What should I do if I have used these products?

Consumers should:

  • Immediately stop using these products.
  • Call a physician to request a blood lead test and mercury urine test.
  • Keep products away from children.
  • Return products to store where they were purchased.
  • Call 311 or 212 (POISONS) to report locations where these medicines have been sold.

What should business owners do if they sell these products?
Business owners should:

  • Immediately stop selling and remove Jambrulin, Lakshmivilash Ras (Nardiya), Maha Sudarshan, and Mahayogaraj Guggulu Enriched with Silver from store shelves and from store inventory.
  • Package and return these products to the distributors.
  • Call 311 to provide the health department with information on product distributors.
  • Post a sign in the stores to advise customers to stop using these products and to see a physician if they have used them.

How can I know if a product contains lead or mercury?
It can be difficult to tell the difference between safe and dangerous herbal medicine products. Consumers should be aware that some products might contain lead or mercury even if they are not listed as ingredients. Consumers should also be aware that special hand-made medicines purchased here or in India may be hazardous.

What should I do if I have used a product that could contain lead or mercury?
If you are not sure of the ingredients in a product you or your children have used, stop using the products. Speak with a doctor or other health care provider about any health concerns you may have. You can also ask the doctor to order a blood lead test and urine mercury test to see if you have been exposed to these metals.

Last updated 11/20/12