Buyer beware

Published: Thursday 30 September 1993

Much ado about nothing? Allopa (Credit: Pradip Saha /CSE)NEXT TIME you buy an Ayurvedic medicine, don't forget to read the list of ingredients used. For all you know, it might be an allopathic preparation being passed off as Ayurvedic medicine. N A Kshirsagar of King Edward Memorial Hospital in Bombay recently found that a mixture of aspirin and paracetamol was being sold as Vendana Nigraha Rasa, a popular Ayurvedic pain-killer (The Lancet, Vol 341 No 8860).

The percentage of aspirin in the Ayurvedic pain-killer is almost twice that in aspirin tablets. Ayurvedic medicines are popular both in India and abroad mainly because as they are made of herbs, they have few side-effects. But pain-killers such as aspirin, if used by patients with ulcers, can cause severe bleeding.

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