Author: Waheed Ali Shah, Zakiullah, Fazli Khuda, Faridullah Khan and Muhammad Saeed

Publishing Date: 2016

E-ISSN: 1011-601X

Volume: 29 Issue: 4


The present study was conducted on fifteen medicinal plants and their respective branded formulations, commonly used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for the evaluation of toxic heavy metals. The purpose of the study was to assess the toxic profile of the crude medicinal plants with respect to the worldwide permissible limits of metal concentrations and to correlate it with their respective herbal formulations available on the market. Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Lead (Pb), Manganese (Mn) and Nickel (Ni) content were evaluated using wet digestion and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry technique. The results exhibited that in 100% of the analyzed medicinal plants Cr and Ni are present in excess of the maximum limits, Cu and Pb in 73% and 60% respectively, while Mn is in the normal range. Likewise in the respective branded formulations Cr and Ni exceed the normal limit in 100% of the products, Cu and Pb in 27% and 20% of the products respectively, while Mn is in the normal range. It indicates that majority of people in Pakistan who frequently use herbal drugs in various forms are exposed to the hazardous elements, which may pose serious health effects. Regulatory measures should therefore be taken to protect the general public from their hazardous health effects.

KEYWORDS: Hazardous heavy metals, Medicinal plants, Herbal formulations, Toxicity.

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