Health Canada has seized products, ingredients and equipment from the A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic Ltd. and is warning the public that they could pose serious risks. None of the seized health products are authorized for sale by the federal regulator. Selling unauthorized health products is illegal in Canada. Health Canada is warning against using all products by A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic, which were also sold online.
SURREY – Health Canada is warning that products sold by ayurvedic clinics in Surrey and Brampton may pose serious health risks, after some were found to contain lead and mercury.
An advisory issued on Monday said inspectors had seized products, ingredients and equipment from A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic Ltd. in Surrey, B.C., and from an affiliated clinic in Brampton, Ont, reported CBC News.
“The seizures came after the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control informed Health Canada of a case of heavy metal toxicity involving a patient who was using products from the Surrey clinic,” Health Canada said.
Lead and mercury are heavy metals that may pose serious health risks when consumed in excessive amounts. Children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women are particularly susceptible.
Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
Headaches/irritability/ slowed thinking.
None of the seized health products are authorized for sale by the federal regulator. Selling unauthorized health products is illegal in Canada.
Health Canada is warning against using all products by A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic, which were also sold online.
Ayurveda is a healthy-lifestyle system that emphasizes good health and prevention and treatment of illness through lifestyle practices (such as massage, meditation, yoga, and dietary changes) and the use of herbal remedies, according to HealthLink BC’s website.
The names of the products were not provided.
“The sales were made upon a client talking about his medical history,” said Maryse Durette, a spokeswoman for Health Canada. “It would be concocted at the back there immediately for that person.”
The BCCDC advises discarding all products by the clinic, and seeing a physician if you have used any of the products and are concerned about your health.
At the Surrey clinic, “they were mixing up a variety of powders mostly imported or entirely imported from India. They were mixing them up with aloe vera juice, putting them in capsules, and as I think common with or ayurvedic medications, they were dispensing them based on a person’s symptoms to individuals by a clinic run by a non-licensed practitioner,” said Tom Kosatsky, medical director for BCCDC’s Environmental Health Services.
While many Ayurvedic products can be used safely, improper manufacturing processes may result in dangerously high levels of heavy metals in the final product, health officials say.
In the February issue of the BC Medical Journal, provincial researchers reported the case of a 64-year-old man who was seen in emergency rooms throughout the Lower Mainland over five months complaining of abdominal pain, dizziness, weight loss, and nausea. A consulting internist eventually considered lead toxicity and tests showed significantly elevated blood lead, the team said.