Yunnan Baiyao denies acid claims in herbal toothpaste

China | 24 Oct 2018 10:58 am

Yunnan Baiyao Group, a leading traditional Chinese medicine manufacturer, has always been reputed for its herbal toothpaste for bleeding gums. However, the product has been recently accused of using tranexamic acid in its formula, a kind of Western prescription medicine in China which is commonly used to prevent bleeding, CGTN reports.

In response, the company refuted the accusations against the safety of its formula yesterday, saying that all the ingredients used in its products comply with national and international regulations, and they do not contain illegal and forbidden ingredients, according to a company announcement on its official website.

The company said that all products had undergone a series of pharmacological, toxicological and clinical trials to ensure safety. It also added that tranexamic acid is a commonly used ingredient in toothpaste and many domestic and international brands adopted this ingredient in their products.

Previous reports show that the incident first came to light on Chinese social media platform Weibo after a user @DoctorBoya, who claimed to be a licensed hematologist in a top-grade hospital, posted on her account, accusing Yunnan Baiyao of using prescription medicine tranexamic acid in its products, which had sparked heat debate among netizens over the safety of the toothpaste.

However, the Weibo user later clarified in another post on Monday, saying that she was later told by some experts that tranexamic acid could be used in cosmetics as well as toothpaste, but was not sure about the amount that could be contained in the products.

"Please don't panic, although it is a kind of prescription medicine, there is only a very limited amount of it being contained in the toothpaste as we could see from its formula," the Weibo user said, "And the toothpaste will only stay a very short period of time in our mouth when we brush our teeth, so it's unlikely to be absorbed."

However, she said she was still unknown about whether the effective function of the toothpaste for gum bleeding was decided by the herbal ingredients or the prescription medicine.

Yunnan Baiyao is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine which is commonly used to stop bleeding, kill pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing, according to ScienceDirect.

The herbal mixture was originated from southwest China's Yunnan Province in the early 1900s and was famous for being carried by foreign soldiers as a hemostatic agent for trauma.

According to You Hu, a PhD student majoring TCM in Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, the ingredients contained in the herbal formula are kept secret in the country, but it contained an active ingredient for hemostasis called Panax notoginseng.

Therefore, many raised the question about why the company still added tranexamic acid in its products since the herbal formula had already had the hemostatic function. The company had yet to make any explanation on this.

According to China Food and Drug Administration, the toothpaste is categorized as cosmetics in the country and tranexamic acid was approved to be used as an ingredient in cosmetics.

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