[Allopathy bashing non-allopathic medicine from Allopathic journals, JAMA in this case.   Usual story you see all the time in the UK media with the usual cast of villains (aka Experts) such as Baum .  Of course, the public don't see the real agenda.  See: Suppress alternatives  TEN WAYS TO SPOT ANTI-VITAMIN BIASES IN A SCIENTIFIC STUDY by Andrew Saul.]


Aug 2008

Dear Readers,
            An interesting paper was published in latest issue of JAMA on
the issue of heavy metal contents in Ayurveda products and medicines
available in USA. Apparently, this has created again a debate on the
issue whether Ayurveda medicines and products are safe to consume? Dr.
Robert and his team did good intelligent work but if you read the
official reaction of the Government of India about this, you can see
that his work was biased with an intention to defame Ayurveda. We have
put the whole content of this official comment of Government of India
in this issue of our newsletter. Dr. Robert's work has this big
question mark why he did not exclude the products which have officially
the heavy metal contents as a part of formula as Bhasmas? And second
question is why he did include the products as containing heavy metals
above permissible limits which were safe as per WHO standards of
admissible heavy metal contents?  Obviously, such works has hidden
agenda to defame Ayurveda for so many reasons. There are so many
players in that part of the World who can play such dirty games. I put
this responsibility to our honorable readers to decide who get benefits
of such misinterpretations of a genuine science.
                      Best regards
and thanks,
Rajesh Kotecha 'Vaidya', M.D.(Ayurveda)
Chakrapaniayurveda Ayurveda Clinic and Research Center

            Dr.Robert B. Saper of Department
of Family medicine, Boston Medical Center along with others had
published an article in JAMA, December 15, 2004 “Heavy Metal Content of
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine Products” which on the basis of testing of 70
samples of herbal medicinal products collected from grocery stores of
Boston Area for heavy metals concluded that one out of every 5
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicinal Products originating from South Asia and
available in Boston South Asian grocery stores contains potentially
harmful levels of lead, mercury and/or arsenic. This article was widely
reported in the Indian print media. Inspite of methodological
infirmities in the study carried out by Dr. Robert Saper and his
associates, the Department of AYUSH enforced mandatory testing for
heavy metals in respect of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani herbal products
being exported from India w.e.f. 1.1.2006. Testing for heavy metals and
other contaminant in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani products is already a part
of Good Manufacturing Practices notified in 2003.
            A project for Physico chemical
characterization and toxicity studies of 8 widely used Bhasmas (Rasa
Aushadhies) was also sanctioned under the Golden Triangle Project which
is being carried out by various laboratories of CSIR i.e. Indian
Institute of Toxicological Research (IITR), Lucknow, Indian Institute
of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad. Under this project, one of
the reputed manufacturers of Rasa Aushadhies was chosen for
manufacturing of the selected Rasa Aushadhies as per the classical
texts which were made available to CSIR laboratories for physio
chemical characterization and their toxicity studies. On the basis of
28 days toxicity studies, all the 8 Rasa Aushadhies have been found to
be non-toxic. 90 days chronic studies are under progress. CSIR would be
getting the results of this scientific research published to set at
rest doubts regarding the safety of Rasa Aushadhies prepared properly
as per classical texts. Further, the work of finalizing SOPs for the
various herb metallic compounds (Rasa Aushadhies) used in Ayurveda has
been undertaken by the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee of India.
Supplementary Good Manufacturing Practices for Rasa Aushadhies have
also been prepared of which draft publication has been done.
            Samples of 600 Indian medicinal
plants collected from the wild as well as various medicinal plant
gardens in India by the Council for Scientific Research in Ayurveda and
Siddha were sent to the Indian Institute of Toxicological Research
(CSIR), Lucknow, Sri Ram Institute of Industrial Toxicology, New Delhi
and Center for Research in Indian Medicine, Shastra University,
Thanjavur. The test reports received from these three laboratories
disclose that Lead, Mercury and Arsenic have not been found in these
600 Indian medicinal plants samples above the permissible limits laid
down by WHO which is 10ppm for Lead, 1ppm for Mercury and 3ppm for
Arsenic. This study clearly indicates that Indian medicinal plants
collected from the wild or cultivated have been found to be free from
lead, mercury and arsenic contamination contrary to the claim made by
Dr. Robert Saper et al in their second article “Lead, Mercury and
Arsenic in US- and Indian- Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines sold via
the Internet” published in JAMA, August 27, 2008.
            The bias of Dr. Saper against
Ayurvedic medicines becomes very apparent from the fact that he has
included even those Ayurvedic medicines being sold in USA in Table 3 of
the above mentioned article in which lead is below WHO’s maximum
permissible limit of 10ppm. Further, as per Dr. Saper’s article, these
medicines are sold by internet which does not indicate the source of
their origin. Further, some of the medicines mentioned in Table 3 of
the article, namely Akangvir Ras, Agnitundi Bati, Arogyavardhini Bati
are herbo metallic compounds which contain these metals as therapeutic
agents after purification process. Dr. Saper has visited India and has
been in touch with several Ayurveda experts and is fully aware that
these herbo-metallic preparations used in Ayurvedic system of medicine
contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic as therapeutic
agents after proper de-toxification process and no significant adverse
drug reactions have been reported regarding their use in India. Dr.
Saper is also fully aware that a high level scientific research is
being undertaken in India for physio chemical characterization and
safety of herbo metallic preparations for Rasa Aushadhies.
            It needs to be emphasized that
as per the directions issued by Department of AYUSH, herbo metallic
compounds are not being officially exported because of heavy metal
concerns and only purely herbal Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicines
are being exported from India with effect from 1.1.2006 after
certification of heavy metals below the permissible limit by the
manufacturing unit. In view of the above, the above mentioned article
of Dr. Saper and his associates is seriously flawed and discloses a
strong bias against Ayurvedic medicines. Indian scientists and research
institutions will be responding to the issues raised by Dr. Saper,
howsoever flawed they may be, through research articles based on their
work on Ayurvedic medicines in due course

“There is an unpleasant whiff of arrogance in the whole (vaccine-autism) debate,” Horton says. “Can the public not be trusted with a controversial hypothesis? The view that the public cannot interpret uncertainty indicates an old-fashioned paternalism at work. The public is entitled to know as much as possible.”