Herbal Science International, Inc. has recalled twelve herbal dietary supplements that contain ephedra, aristolochic acid, or human placenta because they may present a serious health hazard to consumers. These ingredients are linked to heart problems, kidney failure and cancer, and the transmission of disease.
Recent studies have confirmed that ephedrine alkaloids can raise blood pressure and place stress the circulatory system, effects linked to adverse events like heart attacks and strokes. The Food and Drug Administration issued a rule in February 2004 prohibiting the sale of dietary supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids. Herbal Science International, Inc. is recalling nine products that contain ephedra, a source of ephedrine alkaloids, sold labeled under the following brands:
Herbal Science International, Inc. is also recalling Tou Tong San (Headache Formula) and Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang (Du Huo Joint Relief), two products that contain aristolochic acid. This chemical can cause kidney damage and has been associated with several occurrences of kidney failure. The presence of aristolochic acid also been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.
Finally, Herbal Science International, Inc. is recalling Seng Jong Tzu Tong Tan, a dietary supplement that contains human placenta. Human placenta may transmit disease and dietary supplements that contain it may not be legally marketed in the United States. All of the twelve products under recall are packed in white plastic bottles of 100 capsules. The supplements were sold nationwide in herbal stores, by acupuncturists, and on the internet.