Assessment of phytotherapeutic mixtures as a potential route of absorption of some metal compounds
Treść / Zawartość
Introduction. Nowadays, herbalism seems to arouse much interest. Approximately 80% of the world’s population are willingly take plant-derived drugs. It should be remembered that both herbs and their products may have not only beneficial but also harmful components. Moreover, medicinal plants frequently exhibit the capacity to selectively accumulate toxic elements. Objective. To assess the potential burden of phytotherapy with medicinal plants used in chosen herbal mixtures. Materials and method. A total of 76 species of medicinal plants from all over Poland and contained in herbal mixtures applied in selected diseases were investigated with respect to the content of heavy metals. Argon plasma atomic emission spectrometry (AES) was applied, using an ICP-ULTIMA spectrometer. Results. The study plants showed various cumulative properties, depending on plant species and the effect of environmental purity on the metal content in raw materials. Daily doses of metal absorption due to phytotherapy in various diseases were determined. The levels of Ni, Co and Cr accumulation were similar to that of Pb. Conclusions. Herbal therapies using the medicinal plants studied did not exceed daily norms of the investigated metals. However, as these metals may also occur in other food products, a prolonged use of plant-derived drugs can be an additional burden, especially in the case of renal failure.