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  /  Availability of essential trace elements in ayurvedic Indian medicinal herbs

Availability of essential trace elements in ayurvedic Indian medicinal herbs

Pravin Singare, Bhavan’s College, Andheri, India
Ram Lokhande, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Santacruz, India
Mahadeo Andhale, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Santacruz, India
Raghunath Acharya, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India

Abstract: Elemental analysis of these medicinal plants was performed by employing Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) techniques. The samples were irradiated with thermal neutrons in a nuclear reactor and the induced radio activity was counted by gamma ray spectrometry using an efficiency calibrated high resolution High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detector. Most ofthe medicinal plants were found to be rich in one or more of the elements under study. The variation in elemental concentration in same medicinal plant samples collected from different regions was studied and the biological effects of these elements on human beings are discussed. The study was also extended further to estimate the level of toxic elements like Cr, Cd, Ni, Pb and Hg in medicinal plants which arises due to environmental pollution. The results were discussed with careful reference to established role ofessential and rare elements to the physiology and pathology of plant and human life.

Keywords: Instrumental neutron activation analysis; INAA; atomic absorption spectroscopy; AAS; medicinal plants; trace elemental analysis; inter-elemental correlations.