Research Articles

2018  |  Vol: 4(1)  |  Issue: 1(January-February)  |  https://doi.org/10.31024/ajpp.2018.4.1.9
Essential and Non-essential heavy metal contents in some marketed medicinal herbs of UAE

Fazilatun Nessa*, Saeed A. Khan 

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Natural Products,

Dubai Pharmacy College, PO BOX. 19099, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

*Corresponding Author

Fazilatun Nessa, PhD

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Natural Products,

Dubai Pharmacy College, PO BOX. 19099, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to determine essential and non-essential heavy metal contents as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), iron (Fe), arsenic (As), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu), from marketed medicinal herbs of UAE and to investigate whether or not they pose a risk of heavy metal toxicity in regards to World Health Organization (WHO) and national limits. Materials and methods: Nine samples of medicinal herbs as Artemisia absinthium Linn., Adhatoda vasica Nees., Melissa parviflora Benth., Achillea millefoliumBacopa monnieriGymnema sylvestreOnosma bracteatum, Corchorus depressus Linn. and Viola odorata were collected from local herbal stores of UAE and sample solution was prepared by a dry ashing digestion procedure used for the quantification of Al, Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, Ni and Fe. For As determination, the samples were prepared by wet digestion procedure. Calibration curves were prepared using different concentration ranges for the metals and the solutions were analyzed either by Graphite Furnace or Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Method validation was performed by evaluating metal recovery studies. Results: The mean recoveries were from 82.20 to 98.92%. The studied samples all exhibited a positive response for eight essential and non-essential heavy metals, and contained about 1.01-3.63 µg Pb, 0.126-0.849 µg As, 0.46-1.48 µg Ni, 0.073-0.591 µg Cd, 7.73-22.87 µg Zn, 65.97-108.64 µg Al, 1.92-4.42 µg Cu and 140.09 - 253.22 µg Fe respectively. The results were compared with the established WHO and national permissible limits set for heavy metals in medicinal plants and found within limits. Conclusion: The studied nine medicinal herbs contained tolerable levels of essential and non-essential heavy metals, and were safe to consume and further processing.

Keywords: Medicinal herbs, heavy metals, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

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