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2012/04/12

Chinese medicines contain traces of endangered animals -Telegraph

-Aaaah, TCM. Why won't we foreigners understand...
 
A study of 15 samples seized by Australian border officials found that four contained either Asiatic black bear or Saiga antelope, both of which are illegal to trade under international law.  The analysis also revealed that some samples contained potentially toxic plants, while others failed to list ingredients which could provoke a severe allergy, such as soy and nuts, on the packaging.  Experts said the combined risks meant traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs), which are widely available online, posed a "significant potential for harm" to patients and should be avoided entirely.
 

"The risks of Chinese herbal medicine are numerous: firstly, the herbs themselves can be toxic; secondly, they might interact with prescription drugs; thirdly, they are often contaminated with heavy metals; fourthly, they are frequently adulterated with prescription drugs; fifthly, the practitioners are often not well trained, make unsubstantiated claims and give irresponsible, dangerous advice to their patients.
 
"Taken together, these risks amount to a significant potential for harm – I would not recommend Chinese herbal medicine to anyone."
-Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, UK

The UK Telegraph


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