Title: Determination of macro, micro nutrient and trace element concentrations in Indian medicinal plants using instrumental neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectroscopy techniques

Authors: Ram S. Lokhande, Pravin U. Singare, Mahadeo L. Andhale, Raghunath Acharya, A.G.C. Nair, A.V.R. Reddy

Addresses: Department of Chemistry, Bhavan's College, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 058, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Bhavan's College, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 058, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Bhavan's College, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 058, India. ' Division of Radiochemistry, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India. ' Division of Radiochemistry, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India. ' Division of Radiochemistry, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India

Abstract: Specific parts (fruits and seeds) of different medicinal plants often used in Indian Ayurvedic system were analysed for 18 elements (K, Mn, Na, Fe, Zn, Cu, Co, Br, Sm, Cl, La, Al, Cr, Ca Cd, Ni, Pb and Hg) 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 activities were counted by γ-ray spectrometry using efficiency calibrated high-resolution high purity germanium (HPGe) detector. Most of the medicinal plants were found to be rich in one or more of the elements under study. The elemental concentration in different part of medicinal plants and their biological effects on human being are discussed. It is expected that the experimental data on the elemental concentrations will be helpful in the synthesis of new Ayurvedic drugs for the control and cure of various diseases.

Keywords: atomic absorption spectroscopy; instrumental neutron activation analysis; inter-elemental correlations; medicinal plants; trace elements analysis; nutrients; biological effects; Indian medicinal plants; India; Ayurvedic drugs; Ayurveda; disease control; disease cures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2010.032033

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2010 Vol.3 No.1, pp.33 - 44

Available online: 04 Mar 2010 *

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