Health Canada has recently made it to the front page for releasing a warning for Canadians about serious health risks from Ayurvedic products sold by A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic in B.C. and Ontario. Reportedly, laboratory testing discovered that some of these products contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the examiners from Health Canada have seized illegal ingredients, equipment, and products from A1 Herbal’s clinics in Surrey, British Columbia and Brampton, Ontario. They further claim that the seizure came in the wake of B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) notification to Health Canada on a heavy metal toxicity case relating to a patient who was taking products from A1 Herbal’s Surrey-based clinic.
A Health Canada advisory report of January 28 states that A1 was practicing ayurvedic medicines without a required Health Canada license and none of the Herbal natural health products were legalized for sale by the government.
The advisory also revealed that Health Canada has previously cancelled the license of A1 Herbal outlet’s natural health product segment because it was not authorized by the federal regulators for quality, safety, and effectiveness.
For the record, vending unauthorized health related products is considered illegal under Canada’s Law.
The BCCDC notified that using these products can lead to severe health risks and even death. Mercury and lead are heavy metals that should not be consumed in excessive amounts and are especially susceptible for breastfeeding women, pregnant women, and children. Headaches, slowed thinking, stomach pain, constipation, irritability, anemia, stillbirth, and miscarriages are some of the common symptoms of lead poisoning.
It has been reported that Ayurvedic products has a reference in traditional Indian healing practices and are usually brought or imported from India for customary therapeutic and medicinal practices. The health officials said that many products can be used safely, however, improper manufacturing processes and packaging may lead to severely high levels of toxicity due to heavy metals in the final product.