Growing up in an Asian household, our great-grandmother, grandmother or even our mother may have exposed us to Eastern medicine when we fall sick, and if anyone of you remember, it either comes in a form or bitter liquid that you have to drink 10ml of it day and night or some weird smelling, black round balls. The worst one is when the estern doctors give you a pack of dried ingredients to bring home, boil it and drink the soup.
But the bigger issue here is, what are the ingredients in these medicine? Is it scientifically proven to help us?
In a press releaseon Thursday, November 2, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said the two Malaysian products – Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill and Chong Cao Dan – were tested to contain undeclared western medicinal ingredients!
Both traditional Chinese medicine claimed to contain herbal ingredients to help with conditions such as pain, numbness of the limbs and blood circulation.
However, shocking tests results found that both products contained dexamethasone, a potent steriod, while Chong Cao Dan also had frusemide (a diuretic which helps to remove excess fluid from the body) and chlorpheniramine (an anti-allergy medicine).
A woman in her 70s was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to severe breathing difficulties after taking Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill daily for four to five years to relieve her rheumatism and pain!
The elderly woman suffered form adrenal insufficiency, a serious condition where the body does not produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones, which results in generalized weakness, muscle and joint pain, low blood pressure, fits or shock.
Besides that, another woman in her 60s who had been taking Chong Cao Dan weekly for the past two to three years for blood circulation and to relieve muscle aches and pains experienced two episodes of fainting this year.
Unfortunately for her, the aches and pains would return if she did not take the product and she developed Cushing’s syndrome, with symptoms such as the characteristic round “moon” face and thinning of the skin.
Due to prolonged consumption of steriods, her high blood pressure also worsened and she is currently under outpatient care to manage these conditions.
The HSA said:
“The undeclared potent western medicinal ingredients in the products can pose serious health risks to consumers, especially when taken over a prolonged period without medical supervision.”
Here are also a few pointers of advisory to consumers given by the HSA:
– As the products contain a potent steroid, consumers who have taken these products should see a doctor as soon as possible. Discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure;
– Be wary of health products that promise or produce quick and miraculous results for chronic conditions. Such products may contain hidden prescription medicines which should only be taken under medical supervision, or potent or banned ingredients that may harm you;
– Be cautious when purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources, even if they are recommended by friends or relatives. No one can be certain what these products contain, and where and how they were made;
– Consult your doctor or pharmacist to manage your acute and chronic medical symptoms and conditions (such as joint pain, arthritis and rheumatism).
The Star reported that those who are caught selling the producs will face up to three years jail term and/or fined up to $100,000 (RM311,115) as it is illegal to sell complementary health products containing potent western medicines or banned substances.
So, if you ever need to get medicine for sicknesses other than the common flu, cough or fever, please seek a professional’s help! You should trust medicine that have science to back them up, not some random medicine you find in drugstores!
What do you think about this matter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
(Source: The Star)