Why Can You Still Purchase Deadly Herbal Remedies Online?

internetWhen someone mentions herbal remedies, you often think of something natural and gentle, that gives little, if any, benefit to your wellbeing. However, some common Chinese herbal remedies pack more of a punch than you may think, and could even seriously affect your wellness with kidney disease and cancer.

The main perpetrator in these herbs is aristolochic acid, the ingredient that is responsible for causing potentially fatal diseases. According to a new report, you can still purchase products with the dangerous ingredient online, despite the best efforts of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to keep the ingredient out of herbal products sold in the country.

For over a decade, the FDA has been trying to stop the sale of the ingredient, taking the first steps towards banning it nearly 12 years ago. Indeed, some countries have managed to ban aristolochic acid altogether, but as an article published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine noted, ‘despite these regulatory measures, there is still cause for concern,’ because products containing aristolochic acid remain available on the Internet.

According to the international team of researchers who wrote the report, remedies containing aristolochic acid have been, and continue to be, used for various indications, including eczema, acne, liver symptoms, arthritis, and chronic pain.’ They also noted that, in China, thousands of cases of kidney problems have been linked to aristolochic acid, which led them to highlight the fact that the ‘potential worldwide population exposure is enormous.’

At the conclusion of their report entitled The Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Management of Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy: A Narrative Review, the team of investigators urged that there needs to be a tighter regulation of herbal medicine outlets and practitioners. They also noted that a robust international system of surveillance is necessary in order to identify products containing aristolochic acid.

So what does this mean to you? If you are considering taking traditional herbs, make sure that you check with your doctor beforehand and know what they are and where they come from. If this kind of therapy is important to you and your culture’s health practices, you might want to consider seeking out a physician specialising in integrative medicine. This means he or she will know how to combine conventional medical care with holistic and traditional methods. Look online for more information.

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