Sarita Patel, Manisha Pradhan and Ashish Patel
Popularity of herbal drugs is increasing all over the world because of lesser side effects as compared to synthetic drugs. Besides, it costs less and easily available to poor people particularly in developing countries. But quality assurance of herbal drugs is very necessary prior to its use. Because in today polluted environment, even herbal drugs are not safe. The quality and safety of herbal drugs is becoming a major concern worldwide particularly due to contamination by heavy metals. The amount of heavy metals in the plants was analyzed to show the potential threat of their effects to the animals and human beings who consume them as such or their derived products. The work is much more beneficial as the actual nutrient content of the medicinal plants in terms of the essential trace elements could also be identified. The concentration levels (mg/kg) of the selected trace metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Cr, Fe, Ni and Zn) were estimated in some of the important herbal plants of the Singrauli region. The atomic absorption spectrophotometer was employed for the estimation of heavy metals of three different plant species that were collected from different locations within Singrauli region. The plants selected for the analysis were Zingiber officinale (Ginger), Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Suran) and Cuminum Cyminum (Cumin). The metal contents in the samples were determined and were found that there is no cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel in plant samples. The results show that Zingiber officinale has the level of metals in the range of Fe>Zn>Cu, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Fe>Zn>Cu and Cuminum Cyminum Fe>Zn>Cu. Plants absorb heavy metals from the environment and can therefore be used as an indicator of environmental pollution.
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