Lead poisoning from an Ayurvedic herbal medicine in a patient with chronic kidney disease

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2009 May;5(5):297-300. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2009.41.


Background: A 60-year-old man with a history of diabetes and hypertension was referred to a nephrology clinic for investigation of his elevated serum creatinine level.

Investigations: Physical examination; laboratory investigations, including measurement of whole-blood lead level, body lead burden and urine albumin:creatinine ratio; history of lead exposure and use of herbal medical products; and renal ultrasonography.

Diagnosis: Stage 3 chronic kidney disease that was probably worsened by consumption of lead in the form of an Ayurvedic herbal remedy.

Management: Cessation of the herbal product, followed by lead-chelation therapy with calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. The patient's whole-body lead burden and blood lead level decreased to acceptable levels and his serum creatinine value was within the normal range at final follow-up.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Herbal Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / etiology*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*


  • Plant Preparations