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Researcher Warns That Herbal Remedies Considered Safe Can Be Deadly

February 8, 2010: 10:24 AM EST
Herbal medicines taken in large quantities, injected, or combined with prescription drugs are potentially lethal, an Australian researcher reports in a paper describing the toxicity of many herbal substances considered safe. The researcher analyzed 251 Asian herbal products found in U.S. stores and found arsenic in 36 products, mercury in 35 and lead in 24. Chan su, an herbal medicine used to treat sore throats and boils, contains the venom of Chinese toads and can cause cardiac arrest and comas. Other possible side effects of herbal medicines are liver, renal and cardiac failure, strokes, movement disorders, muscle weakness and seizures.
Roger W. Byard, M.D., "A Review of the Potential Forensic Significance of Traditional Herbal Medicines", Journal of Forensic Sciences, February 08, 2010, © American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Food Safety
North America
United States of America
Research, Studies, Advice
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