25 October, 2020

The Death Metal Soup

Thought 'herbal' drugs were safe? Not when vaids ply you with a heavy cocktail.

The Death Metal Soup
Perhaps it was only a matter of discomfort that sent Sunil Shah to an ayurvedic physician instead of any other doctor. We shall never know, because within two months of taking the pills and powders he was prescribed for his constipation and tonsillitis, the 34-year-old died, of sudden renal failure.

Metal poisoning can cause renal failure, and sure enough, three independent analyses of Shah's medicines showed that his treatment contained levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and mercury way beyond human tolerance (see box).

The unlucky Shah wasn't the only one to have suffered from ayurvedic medication that damages far more than it can cure. Outlook's investigations show hundreds of such cases. A few examples where the patient's blood and his ayurvedic medication were both analysed to show very high levels of toxic metals:

  • Vinod Gandhi was brought to a Mumbai hospital from Gujarat. He had been in coma for three weeks. His case baffled doctors because his blood...


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