Kerala SDC directs Ayurveda wing to test all out-of-state Ayurveda preparations and cosmetics marketed in the state
Kerala: In the wake of reports of substandard out-of-state herbal and natural products flooding the market in the state, the Kerala state drugs controller (SDC) has given directions to the Ayurveda drugs control wing.
SDC has given directions to test all ayurvedic preparations, cosmetic products and fragrances coming from other states to Kerala’s medicinal market and verify their claims of quality and safety.
A lot of proprietary and patented medications and cosmetic products are marketed and sold in Kerala using the tag of traditional and herbal products.
Many of the brands of big companies capture the market by advertisements and even foreign tourists are attracted by these products finding that they are safe and having potential benefits.
It is learnt that the Ayurveda drugs control wing and the department of drugs control are aware of marketing of several substandard products in Kerala by manufacturers from other states of India using the tag, traditional products.
Also read: Kerala FDA seized fake cosmetics
Testing of products
The drugs controller, Revi S Menon, in a meeting of Ayurveda regulatory officers, wanted them to test samples of all the medicinal preparations and cosmetics including medicated oils claiming to be traditional or herbal products and manufactured by companies belonging to other states for their quality.
He also asked to verify whether they contain all the ingredients the manufacturers claim to be used to prepare such formulations.
He also wanted them to write to the companies to share details of contents and manufacturing of all herbal and natural products sold in the Kerala market.
In Kerala, the Ayurveda drugs control wing is controlled by the allopathic drugs control department.
Later, while sharing information, Menon said many of the herbal products and cosmetics manufactured by local companies also need to be tested before permitting them to hit the shelves.
Ayurvedic / Cosmetics products
He said many companies are bringing out a host of proprietary products by misusing the basic concepts of Ayurveda.
By using the term Ayurveda, they sell products like:
- ‘Ayurveda soap’,
- ‘Ayurveda hair-oil’,
- ‘Kattaar vaazha shampoo’ (shampoo made out of Aloe vera),
- ‘Turmeric Ayurveda soap,
- ‘Nalpaamara soap’,
- ‘Nalpaamara hair-oil’ (cosmetics made from stem barks of ficus trees),
- ‘Rektha chandana soap’ (soap made of red sandal wood),
- ‘Ayurveda toothpaste’ etc.
The drugs controller said this way of giving exaggerated and misleading advertisements using the classical term of Ayurveda for marketing their patented products is unethical and illegal.
The manufacturers are exploiting the people by making them believe that these products contain ayurvedic substances.
These products are sold in the market because of lack of a rule to test the efficacy of these products.
Under the category of traditional and herbal products the manufacturers market their formulations and fragrance all over the country.
Must read article by N K Ahooja, SDC Haryana : Cosmetics under the Garb of Ayurvedic medicines
Proposal for rules for testing
The SDC said he will put up a proposal before the health ministry to have a rule for testing all out of state ayush products by each state drug control office and bring the proposal for discussion in the impending global Ayurveda conference in Kochi in April.
According to Revi S Menon, the terms such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, hair-oil, etc are not described in any of the classical texts of Ayurveda.
But the manufacturers use these terms to exploit the consumers and in turn they deceive the ayurvedic community.
Most of such cosmetic products are very low quality and manufactured using harmful chemicals, he said.
As per the existing drug laws, ayush drugs and herbal products can be sold anywhere in the country under the pretext that they are safe and without any side effects.
The big players of proprietary and patented ayush products are Himalaya, Dabur, Charak, Vasu Healthcare, Zandu Ayurveda, Patanjali, Baidyanath, etc, said the drugs controller.