American medical scientist biased against Ayurveda: India

September 2nd, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) India Tuesday said metallic substance in Ayurvedic medicines are well below the permissible level as reported otherwise by a group of medical scientists in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) last month.Robert B. Saper of the department of family medicine, Boston Medical Center and his associates, in their article “Lead, Mercury and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines sold via the Internet” published in JAMA Aug 27 indicated excessive amount of metals in Ayurvedic products.

Saper and his associates’ views are “seriously flawed” and (the article) “discloses a strong bias against Ayurvedic medicines,” the health ministry said.

“Indian scientists and research institutions will be responding to the issues raised by Saper, howsoever flawed they may be, through research articles based on their work on Ayurvedic medicines in due course.”

The ministry said that following the report, samples of 600 Indian medicinal plants collected from the wild as well as various medicinal plant gardens in India were tested in three top laboratories - Indian Institute of Toxicological Research, Lucknow, Sri Ram Institute of Industrial Toxicology, New Delhi, and Centre 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 (World Health Organisation),” the health ministry said.

The permissible limit 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 Robert Saper et al in their article,” it added.

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