Newsletters - July 1998

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A renowned Ayurvedic practitioner, Vaidya Balendu Prakash, honorary physician to the President of India, is quoted in a recent article in The Times of India, as having serious reservations about the misuse of traditional Ayurvedic formulations. Chyavanprash is a well known Ayurvedic product, described as a tonic for general well being. It traditionally contains Amla (Emblica officinalis) as a major ingredient and is valued for its vitamin C and calcium content. In recent years however, the unchecked commercialization of this product has introduced certain hazards. The high sugar content in the commercial products (65%, as a substitute for amla) may be harmful to diabetics, yet the labels carry no contraindications or any indications of actual ingredient levels. Unwary consumers continue to patronize these products under the belief that herbal products cause no untoward side effects.

The physician also questions "herbal" cosmetic formulations which often contain more than 90% chemicals and only 10% herbs. These concerns have universal relevance and accentuate the need for stringent quality control and labeling regulations. Such measures would help build a healthy image for herbal products world wide.


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