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Quality and Safety of Classical Herbo Mineral Medicines: Boon or Bane to Ayurvedic Therapeutics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 801 times Debate No: 75209
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I consider Herbo Mineral Medicines Bane for Ayurvedic Therapeutics.

Although Rasa-shastra (The branch of Herbo Mineral Medicines in Ayurveda) is a medical pathy, in use since thousands of years But then the medicines were prepared on Individual basis and especially our Rasaoushadhies (Herbo Mineral Drugs) that need tremendous care in quality while manufacturing were created by our Vaidyas (Ancient Physicians) for their few patients with utmost care, but when the population has become so huge, How are we going to produce them at such a large scale by following the ancient protocols as stated in Shastras (Authentic Ancient Ayurvedic Literature)? And when things go wrong, it not only spoils the name of that Mass-producing firm and those Rasaoushadhies (Herbo Mineral Drugs), But Ayurveda in general. And then the Quality and Safety of Classical Rasaoushadhies (Herbo Mineral Drugs) turns out to be a Bane for Ayurvedic Therapeutics.

Yogaata api visham teekhshanam uttamam bheshajam bhaveta
Bheshajam cha api duryuktam teekshanam sampadyate visham

Charak Sutrasthana Chapter 1 (Prathamoadhyaya) 126th Shloka

This popular Shloka (Verse) among the Ayurvedic fraternity which says that even an acute poison can become an excellent drug if it is properly administered. On the other hand, even a drug, if not properly administered, becomes an acute poison.
There are different types of Lauha (Iron) like Manda Lauha, Teekhshna Lauha, Kaanta Lauha and there are even further subtypes. And only the specific one is used for medicines. Same is applicable for other dhatus (Metals) that they also have various types and even subtypes stated in Shastras (Authentic Ancient Ayurvedic Literature) and a specific one is said by our Acharyas (Ancient Gurus of Ayurveda) to be used for medicine production. In How many Ayurvedic Companies do we have experts who can identify these specific types and subtypes of dhatus(Metals)? They are using the ones, which are available at lower rates! How many pharmacies are making Rasaoushadhies (Herbo Mineral Drugs) exactly in the way stated in Shastras (Authentic Ancient Ayurvedic Literature)?

The popularity of traditional remedies has greatly increased in westernized countries over recent years. And we are proud of it. Although there have recently been an increasing number of case reports being published of heavy metal poisoning after the use of traditional remedies, especially, Indian Ayurvedic remedies. Agnitundi Vati, Ekangaveer rasa, Aarogyavardhini Vati are some of Indian manufactured Rasa-shastra medicines distributed with extremely elevated lead and mercury concentrations.

Actual Problem

We in Rasa-shastra (The branch of Herbo Mineral Medicines in Ayurveda) believe that if Bhasmas (Metallic Medicinal Preparations) are properly prepared according to ancient protocols, the metals undergo Shodhana (Purification), rendering them non-toxic and ready for therapeutic use.

But Case reports in the literature, however, have documented significant toxicity with the use of some of these products.

A study by Robert Saper, Anusha Sehgal and others, founded that 21% of Ayurvedic medicines manufactured and distributed by Indian companies contain metals like, lead, mercury and arsenic & one more report said that 20% of Indian manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased in South Asian ethnic markets contained these metals. And these are the data being published in the internationally most reputed journals.

Bahuta tatra yogyatvam anek vidha kalpana
Sampaccheti chatushkoayam dravyanam guna uchyate

Charak Sutrastana Chapter 9 (Navamoadhyaya) 7th Shloka

In this popular Shloka (Verse), it has been clearly said that "Bahuta" i.e. Abundance is one of the important quality of any drug.

So, do we have Rasaoushadhies (Herbo Mineral Drugs) available in abundance? Good quality Rasaoushadhies are not easily available and hence, the inferior quality is consumed by the public.

Sword is for defense, but only for the wise ones. There is a lot of appreciation of Rasaoushadies (Herbo Mineral Drugs) and I agree with it as well. But how many Quality medicines are available?

I want to ask my worthy counterparts who consider Herbo Mineral Medicines to be a Boon for Ayurveda How do you guarantee that the quality of Rasaoushadhies required to be made through so sophisticated procedures can be controlled at such a large scale?

Isn"t it that our name is spoiled on foreign lands for the heavy metal toxicity detected in these medicines because of improper production on large scale?

The use of heavy metal based Ayurvedic preparations may lead to serious heavy metal toxicity. As mercury and lead are the most widely used heavy metals for drug preparations, the toxicity due to these metals may become very common.

What is Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Heavy metal toxicity is the toxic effect of the heavy metals in certain forms and doses on our biological processes. These toxic metals can interfere with our metabolic processes to cause diseases from abdominal pain, anemia and in severe cases seizures, coma and death.

Mercury poisoning can result in several diseases, including acrodynia or pink disease with very high sensitivity of palms and soles leading to lot of itching, Hunter-Russell Syndrome in which vision and speech gets impaired and Minamata disease.
Symptoms typically include sensory impairment, disturbed sensations and lack of coordination. This type and degree of symptoms exhibited depends upon the individual toxin, the dose, the method and duration of exposure.


The words I used might have hurt some of us, and same they did to me when I listened to them for the first time from foreign authorities As I am also a strong supporter of Ayurveda. But even worse language is being used by those people around the world who are anti-Rasa Shastra and according to me it's of prime importance that we understand the way of thinking of these people, to combat them for our science of Rasa-shastra to get around the world and to make Ayurveda shine, as it should.


[1.] Saper Robert B., Phillips Russell S., Sehgal Anusha, Khouri Nadia, Davis Roger B., Paquin Janet, Thuppil Venkatesh, Kales Stefanos N., "Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US and Indian Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet." JAMA. 2008Y4;300 (8):915923.

[2.] Stefanos N. Kales, Costas A. Christophi, and Robert B. Saper, "Hematopoietic toxicity from lead containing Ayurvedic medications." Med Sci Monit. 2007 JulY4; 13(7): CR295"CR298.

[3.] Misra Sanchit, "A Critical Evaluation of Indian Culture with Logical Rationale." EMERGING RESEARCHER, Volume: 2, Issue: 1, January-March, 2015, ISSN: 2348-5590
[4.] Lynch Emma, Braithwaite Robin, "A review of the clinical and toxicological aspects of "traditional" (herbal) medicines adulterated with heavy metals." Informa healthcare July 2005, Vol. 4, No. 4, Pages 769-778 (doi:10.1517/14740338.4.4.769)

[5.] Poal M.P., "The Toxicity Studies of Mercury and Lead in Ayurvedic Preperations" Synopsis for PhD in Physiology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Calicut, Kerela


the quality and safety is good i no a lot of people who use such medicines and recover a lot better and faster. it is a huge boon to Ayurvedic Therapeutics
Debate Round No. 1
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Vote Placed by tejretics 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: First, spelling and grammar go to Con. Pro had various grammatical errors and very poor punctuation. "i no a lot of people" - here, 'i' is not capitalized and "no" is used incorrectly, in place of the homonym "know". Pro's sole argument entirely lacked punctuation and capitalization. Con made no major grammatical or spelling errors. Pro's only argument was: "the quality and safety is good i no a lot of people who use such medicines and recover a lot better and faster. it is a huge boon to Ayurvedic Therapeutics" - Pro made a bare assertion in that he/she *knew* a lot of people who recovered due to "such medicines" (herbo-mineral medicines). Con made a solid case on how heavy metal toxicity is caused by these medicines and used extensive citations to support the same, thus not making bare assertions. I don't award sources as no side used "MORE reliable sources", as Pro used no sources. Therefore, arguments and S&G to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had multiple grammatical errors, so that point goes to Con. Pro failed to uphold the BOP and was unable to refute Con's case.