Asian proprietary medicine, also known as Asian patent medicine, is a form of Asian herbal medicine. Preparations of this type of medicine usually contain mixtures of herbs as well as animal parts and minerals.
Several studies of the chemical composition of these preparations have found that they frequently contain potentially toxic ingredients. Recent data indicate that approximately one-third of these products contain drugs or dangerous metals. Drugs that have been found include diazepam (Valium), steroids, and prescription asthma medications. Toxic metals sometimes found in these products are arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium.
Because of the possible presence of these toxic ingredients, Asian proprietary medicine should be avoided or used with extreme caution.
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