|Dried herbal medicines|
Friday, 7 November 2014
Toxic Mould in Herbal Medicines
It is estimated that the herbal medicine industry is worth $60 billion. Over 60% of people use medicinal plants to treat illnesses and relieve pain, but with the majority of medicinal plants unregulated, what could those people also be exposing themselves to.
A new study has found 43% of the plants naturally contaminated with toxins, 30% of these being carcinogenic substance known as aflatoxins. They found 26% contains ochratoxin A, a toxic substance to the liver and kidneys and can increase the susceptibility to disease as it suppresses the immune system.
A call for greater regulation on these products has been called for to ensure the health of those using them. The public need to be aware that just because it is natural, does not mean it is safe. The products can be contaminated at any stage of production with consumers unaware whether the products they purchase have toxic levels of substances. To benefit from this industry, controls need to be put into place that ensures the safety of the user.
Elsevier. "Herbal medicinescould contain dangerous levels of toxic mold." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily,23 October 2014.