Department of Health Services is advising parents of infants or young
children, and pregnant women to avoid taking lead containing folk
remedies. Lead has been found in some folk remedies used in Hispanic,
East Indian, Indian, Middle Eastern and West Asian cultures. Folk
remedies may contain herbs, minerals, metals or animal products. Some
folk remedies contain lead and other metals because it is thought that
these metals are useful in treating some aliments and illnesses. Some
folk remedies may become accidentally contaminated with lead during the
grinding, coloring or by other methods of preparation.Some folk remedies
found to contain lead are Greta and Azarcon. These are traditional
Hispanic remedies used to treat empacho and other stomach ailments. They
are also known as alarcon, coral, luiga, maria luisa or rueda. These
folk remedies have also been found to contain lead. Ghasard is an Indian
folk remedy used as a tonic and Ba-baw-san is a Chinese herbal remedy
used to treat colic. You cannot tell by looking at or tasting a remedy
if it contains lead or not. Only a laboratory can determine if a folk
remedy contains lead. Consuming even a small amount of lead can be
harmful and cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can harm the brain, nervous
system and result in death.
of infants or young children and pregnant women who may have taken a
lead containing folk remedy should consult with their physician or
health care provider to determine if further medical testing is needed.
do I do if my child or I have taken folk remedies that contain lead?
your physician or your health care provider. Only a physician can
recommend and perform a blood test to determine if further treatment is
needed. Most adults and children with elevated blood lead levels do not
have any symptoms.
As blood lead levels increase, so does the leadís effect on
can I tell if the folk remedy I used contains lead?
can I get more information about lead containing folk remedies?
has been found in powders used to treat stomach ailments such as empacho,
diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, colic and other illnesses.
Greta and Azarcon are traditional Hispanic folk remedies.
These folk remedies are fine yellow to orange powders that have a
lead content of 90% or higher.
Other cultures may have folk remedies that contain lead.
Only a laboratory can determine if a folk remedy contains lead.
If you have reason to suspect that you or your child may have
taken a folk remedy containing lead consult your physician for a blood
test and/or treatment options.
The Arizona Department of Health Services is advising parents of
infants or young children, and pregnant women to avoid taking lead
containing folk remedies.
For more information on lead in folk remedies call us at
602-364-3118 or free at 1-800-367-6412.