MDHHS urges Michigan residents to avoid the ayurvedic remedy Balguti Kesaria, a potential lead hazard

Contact: Jennifer Eisner 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging Michigan residents to avoid an ayurvedic remedy called Balguti Kesaria as recent testing has confirmed samples contaminated with lead.

Two children in southeast Michigan have tested with elevated blood lead levels after consuming Balguti Kesaria.  Elevated blood lead levels are harmful to a person’s health, and can 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. 

According to the product packaging, Balguti Kesaria, which is ground up and given to infants, is claimed to ensure proper digestion and bowel movement and improve the immune system, preventing colds, coughs, and fever.  Samples of Balguti Kesaria collected from the homes of the children with elevated blood lead levels were found to contain very high amounts of lead.  The families of the children indicated that they had this product mailed to them from relatives in India.  However, a product by the same name can be bought online and shipped to the United States. 

“Health-care providers should ask patients, especially foreign-born or pregnant patients, about any use of foreign health products, supplements, and remedies such as Ayurvedic medications,” said Dr. Eden Wells. “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.”

If you or your family have been using Balguti Kesaria, discontinue use 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

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