Tuesday 19 March 2013

‘Herbal Ayurveda Medicines cause kidney failure, bladder cancer' A New Study

Written by Anil Singh

Lakhs of Indians tune in to Acharya Bal Krishna's (Baba Ram Dev's close aide) daily program on Ayurveda medicines (Home remedies) on Astha Channel. These viewers religiously note down the remedies shared there in. These remedies which usually include some root or shoot of some common or rare plant, are seen as a panacea (in Hindi "Ram Baan Aushadhi") of the respective ailment. What is interesting here is that, such is the following of the program, people note down the remedies of even those ailments, they aren't afflicted with. This is weird right? No, as the loyal viewership sees this as an exigency measure. Who knows they may need the remedy, some time in near or distant future?

Jokes apart, honestly this is ridiculous and utmost weird.

Firstly, as one shouldn't take any medicine without the doctor's advice; and secondly, reading about diseases and ailments by anyone other than the doctor, is actually a kind of mind disorder called Hypochondriasis,

Hypochondriasis or hypochondria (sometimes referred to as health phobia or health anxiety) refers to excessive preoccupancy or worry about having a serious illness. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the body’s condition despite the absence of an actual medical condition.[1] An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical symptoms they detect, no matter how minor the symptom may be. They are convinced that they have or are about to be diagnosed with a serious illness.   
The disorder begins with a person reading about human diseases and medicines. At this stage, the person intends to make his body disease free. In the next stage he starts monitoring even normal sounds the body produces, like a burp, intestinal or stomach sounds etc. In higher stages, he not only wants to become disease free, but also make the society Healthy. Hypochondriacs (the person having this disorder) are often seen taking medicines on their own, for smallest of or false symptoms. For obvious reasons, Hypochondriacs not only make their body unhealthy but the health of society as well (by giving unsolicited advice).

Hence, the recent trend of unquestioningly following Baba Ramdev and Acharya Bal Krishna on anything about Ayurveda and herbal medicines OR buying or preparing and gulping Ayurveda/herbal medicines without doctor's consultation is quite wrong. And the results of such act can be fatal.

A New Study:

Scientists from King’s College London have found that many herbal medicines used for a wide range of conditions are derived from a botanical compound containing aristolochic acids. According to the study, these herbal medicines are causing millions in India to develop kidney failure and bladder cancer.

The study claims that, in the absence of right standards  herbal medicines, especially in India and China — may be causing kidney failure and bladder cancer in the said countries.

The study found that many herbal medicines used for a wide range of conditions — including slimming, asthma and arthritis — are derived from a botanical compound containing aristolochic acids. These products are now banned in the US and many European countries, but herbs containing these toxic acids can still be bought in China and other countries in Asia, and are also available worldwide over the internet.

For the study, the researchers reviewed worldwide cases of aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN), a type of kidney failure caused by the intake of these acids ( if a sufficient dose is taken). They suggest there may be many thousands of cases across Asia that are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. With the outcome of their study, the researchers hope to raise awareness of the risks of aristolochic acids and reduce the global disease burden from this severe condition.  "Ethnopharmacological analyses suggest that aristolochia is widely used in India. India must start better monitoring of medicines containing herbal remedies and also assessment of patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney cancer for the presence of AA. The compound is linked to many cases of kidney diseases and urothelial cancer, a form of cancer of which bladder cancer is the most known variant.

The Research paper has been published in "Annals of Internal Medicine".

Ayurveda or Herbal Medicines have No Side Effects! Plain Lie:

The proponents and believers of Ayurveda or Herbal medicines in India, usually claim that "Ayurveda or Herbal Medicines have No Side Effects". This is a plain lie. Anything which the body is not meant to take as food has side effects. Ayurveda or herbal medicines (including home remedies) are NO Exception. That apart any thing -- bitter, irony in taste etc. -- normally have heavy metals Arsenic, mercury, iron etc. The body needs them in trace quantities (smallest of quantities). Imagine what will happen if taken in grams. That apart, these metals themselves are poisonous. Imagine havoc to your body, a glass full of Neem leaves juice can have.

People are using Aloe Vera extract, bottle gourd juice etc. without discretion and many are ruining their health.


No medicine, in any system of medicine, are without side effects. Hence, it's not right to take medicines without doctor's recommendation or on your own. Second, humans have doctors as treating someone is an experts job. Unless you are a doctor, don't read, write and think about diseases and medicines.


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