Chinese medicine warning

London: Traces of deadly poisons may be contained in some traditional Chinese medicines, the most popular alternative treatment, the UK’s Trading Standards Institute has warned.

Traces of deadly arsenic and mercury which if taken in large quanities can kill have been found as well as asbetos and poisonous plant extracts. In addition many of these compounds are taken from endangered animal species such as tigers and rhinos.

Gall bladders from bears and musk from deer are other ingredients which may break conservation laws.

Tradional Chinese medicine treats conditions ranging from obesity, infertility to hairloss and asthma andcreated from a mixture of herbs, minerals, animal and plant ingredients. They are taken orally or rubbed on the skin.