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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 19  |  Page : 15-18

Occurrence of high levels of cadmium, mercury and lead in medicinal plants of India

1 Asst. Prof. Amrita School Of Pharmacy, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham University, Health care Campus, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Prof. Amrita School Of Medicine, Dept. of Microbiology, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham University, Health care Campus, Kochi,Kerala, India
3 Prof. Sree Ramakrishna Institute Of Paramedical Science and Research center, Department of Pharmaceutics, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepa T Vasudevan
Asst. Prof. Amrita School Of Pharmacy, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham University, Health care Campus, Kochi, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In the present study selected medicinal plant samples used in the preparation of Indian herbal medicinal products were analysed, after nitric acid digestion, for the content of cadmium, mercury and lead, by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The samples are procured by three method.1.Self collected from medicinal plant garden with the help of experts.2.Purchased from local drug collectors.3. Purchased from raw material stores. Result shows that 33% of sample analysed were contain toxic levels of cadmium, 40% were contain toxic levels of lead and no sample posses arsenic above the limit. (limit of cadmium, mercury and lead were 0.3,0.5 and 10 μg/g, respectively) PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Plants can contain heavy metals from their presence in the soil, water or air. High levels of toxic metals can occur when the plants are grown in polluted areas, such as near roadways or metal mining and smelting operations. In addition, high levels can be found when agricultural expedients are used, including Cadmium containing fertilizers, organic mercury or lead based pesticides, and contaminated irrigation water. Quality has to be built into the whole process beginning from the selection of starting material to the final product reaching the consumer. In the present study were carried out, to evaluate the quality and safety of crude drug. The result shows that Indian herbal drug industry needs to ensure procurement of standardized authentic raw material free from toxic contaminants. Such approaches remain important in global promotion of medicinal plants & herbal medicinal products from India.

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