Parents eager to ensure their infants’ well-being are advised by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to avoid an ayurvedic remedy called Balguti Kesaria.
Ayurvedic medicine is an eastern practice often studied by holistic health practitioners.
Recent testing has found Balguti Kesaria samples contaminated with lead.
The remedy is ground up and given to infants, purporting to ensure proper digestion, bowel movement and increase immunity against colds, coughs, and fever.
Manufactured in India, the product is often mailed by relatives or purchased online, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which reports two children in southeast Michigan with elevated blood lead levels after consuming Balguti Kesaria.
Elevated blood lead levels may cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems, especially in growing children.
The families of the Michigan children affected say received Balguti Kesaria from relatives in India, but a product by the same name can be bought online and shipped to the United States.
“Healthcare providers should ask patients, especially foreign-born or pregnant patients, about any use of foreign health products, supplements, and remedies such as ayurvedic medications,” says Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “These products can be contaminated with mercury and arsenic as well as lead. There are many documented cases of poisoning from metals in these products.”
MDHHS advises anyone using Balguti Kesaria to discontinue immediately. It is recommended that all persons who have consumed or come in contact with Balguti Kesaria receive a blood lead test through their primary care provider.
For more information about lead poisoning and lead poisoning prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/lead.