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Hi

I was just looking at my packet of Ashwagandha  organic root powder and on the side in small print it states, this product may contain Lead and other chemicals which can cause cancer.

Does anyone know if this is common for this herb supplement to contain Lead?

Any products which don't contain possible chemicals and Lead and how do we know for sure they don't?

Very scary as l was enjoying the calming effects it has on my anxiety. 

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In general, I have noticed that food items from India are frequently high in lead. This may have to do with pollution at the production site or growing areas etc. But this is true not just of supplements but of many spices and food additives such as psyllium. As a result I'm very selective and careful about products from that area and try to get organic sources (although that's no guarantee at all). Frankly, I try to avoid such items from India and China - it's not always possible, but if I have any choice at all, I look for other places, such as Japan. 

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Is there any Ashwangandha supplement powder from Japan or anywhere int he world that is pure from all these chemicals? How can we trust that this is the case. Eating the plant root itself fresh is probably best. 

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4 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

In general, I have noticed that food items from India are frequently high in lead. This may have to do with pollution at the production site or growing areas etc. But this is true not just of supplements but of many spices and food additives such as psyllium. As a result I'm very selective and careful about products from that area and try to get organic sources (although that's no guarantee at all). Frankly, I try to avoid such items from India and China - it's not always possible, but if I have any choice at all, I look for other places, such as Japan. 

This is also what I’ve found regarding supplements from India, and the main reason I don’t take ashwagandha.

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Quote

....may contain Lead and other chemicals which can cause cancer.

Common warning--  by itself it doesn't tell you much, or differentiate that particular product from tons of others.

 

Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet (2008)

 

Quote

Results

One hundred ninety-three of the 230 requested medicines were received and analyzed. The prevalence of metal-containing products was 20.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.2%–27.1%). The prevalence of metals in US-manufactured products was 21.7% (95% CI, 14.6%–30.4%) compared with 19.5% (95% CI, 11.3%–30.1%) in Indian products (P=.86). Rasa shastra compared with non–rasa shastra medicines had a greater prevalence of metals (40.6% vs 17.1%; P=.007) and higher median concentrations of lead (11.5 μg/g vs 7.0 μg/g; P=.03) and mercury (20 800 μg/g vs 34.5 μg/g; P=.04). Among the metal-containing products, 95% were sold by US Web sites and 75% claimed Good Manufacturing Practices. All metal-containing products exceeded 1 or more standards for acceptable daily intake of toxic metals.

Conclusion

One-fifth of both US-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the Internet contain detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.

Only 25% of Ashwagandha Supplements Pass ConsumerLab.com Review (2015)

 
Quote

"It's very hard to find a good ashwagandha supplement," notes Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com, the health product testing company which recently completed evaluations of ashwagandha herbal supplements. Ashwagandha is generally used to reduce stress and anxiety, and has other potential applications. Clinical studies have typically been performed with ashwagandha root preparations providing at least 6 mg per daily serving of compounds known as withanolides. Yet, of eight ashwagandha supplements selected for testing by ConsumerLab, three contained less than this amount -- one of which provided less than one milligram. Another product contained only 64.7% of the withanolides expected from its label, and two other products contained much higher amounts of withanolides than listed.


ConsumerLab.com did identify three ashwagandha supplements with accurate labeling and daily doses in-line with those used in successful clinical trials. These three products were Approved for Quality by ConsumerLab.com. One of these products was tested through ConsumerLab.com's voluntary Quality Certification Program.
 
None of the products exceeded  contamination limits for lead, cadmium or arsenic — toxic heavy metals which can occur in herbal supplements.
 
 
 
 
7 hours ago, Shezian said:

Eating the plant root itself fresh is probably best. 

Maybe not.    I would think taking a  much smaller amount of purified extract (eg. 125mg) with confirmed levels of active ingredients might be preferable.

There are two main  extracts used in the higher-end  brands, KSM-66  and Sensoril.   KSM-66 is a root- only extract,  while  Sensoril is made from leaves as well as  roots.   

Here's a KSM-66 spiel,  fwiw:

Quote

Ixoreal Biomed is the only major supplier of ashwagandha in the world to own the entire supply chain – from farm to pharmacy, so to speak.

KSM-66 is produced using a proprietary extraction process, based on “green chemistry” principles, without using alcohol or other chemical solvents (that means no hidden ingredients). Green chemistry principles are non-polluting and require the least amount of resources and energy while simultaneously generating minimal or no waste material. 

Among other certifications, KSM-66 is USDA-certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified non-GMO, certified gluten free, NSF certified, and NASC preferred supplier certified. Its benefits have been validated in at least 22 human trials – all randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.

For the Sensoril spiel go here:

http://natreoninc.com/sensoril/

It's also "certified organic" etc.  "Organic",  however, tells you nothing about heavy metal content.   Cacao is a good example of that, which we've discussed elsewhere. For example:

   Heavy metals in foods

   Cadmium contamination in cacao products

   So Why Don't We Brew Our Chocolate?

It's easy to get freaked out by a generic "may contain lead etc." warning (California prop 65 warnings are ubiquitous),  but you need to look at the individual product and keep in mind the levels of  heavy metals found  in normal foods.

Do you know the amounts of  lead and other chemicals which can cause cancer that are in the coffee, tea, cacao, herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables,  grains, leafy greens, legumes, berries, nuts  etc. that you consume day in and day out?

Edited by Sibiriak

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I have read over  those studies which is quiet concerning.but what is more concerning for me, l found a court case on the particular ashawangda powder l was taking and l immediately discarded it. From what l understand lead is everywhere, but its how much we take in over a short amount of time that can be harmful as the body does get rid of it slowly. 

Consumer lab suggested 3 different kinds, of one which l have just ordered. As l only plan on taking it a few times per week, hopefully it is a low enough levels not to effect my health. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. 

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You can request heavy metals analysis from the manufacturer, any good manufacterer will have this info, but I'm not sure how you would know if they were lying about it.  Other than than you have to depend on either doing your own testing, or someone else doing independent testing (like consumerlab does).  Here is more info specifically about lead in supplements:

https://blog.listentoyourgut.com/why-do-some-products-carry-a-lead-or-chemical-warning/

This is a much broader topic though really, lead is in almost all soil in every country, things like carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes can exceed 6 ppm lead (doesn't matter if they are "organic" or not).  I eat a lot of beets and sweet potatoes so I do wonder if I'm getting too much lead.

 

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2 hours ago, Gordo said:

I eat a lot of beets and sweet potatoes so I do wonder if I'm getting too much lead.

You may have your urine or blood analyzed, I did that recently, that's the only way to know if there are significant sources of lead in your environment or food and how much concentrates in your body.

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On 9/13/2020 at 9:09 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:

It looks like garlic may be a good way to counteract too much dietary lead:

https://nutritionfacts.org/2020/09/10/garlic-powder-to-lower-lead-levels/

--Dean

Thanks, great info!  "three times a day for one month, either got the drug or an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder compressed into a tablet, which is about the equivalent of two cloves of fresh garlic a day"

I'm kind of surprised that 3/8 teaspoon of garlic powder = 2 cloves.  My wife complains when I eat garlic.  I wonder if eating the powder has higher WAF (wife acceptance factor)?

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On 9/9/2020 at 1:36 PM, mccoy said:

You may have your urine or blood analyzed, I did that recently, that's the only way to know if there are significant sources of lead in your environment or food and how much concentrates in your body.

Yep, I agree.  I checked myself for the common heavy metals after the ConsumerLab brouhaha about cacao, which boosted their subscriptions.

Nothing.  Even though I used to eat 30-40 grams of cacao nibs for years, and tons of cacao powder before that. I've also been eating Indian-sourced spices for years, in quantities much higher than the average consumer. In most cases, this is much ado about nothing.

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