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Determination of mineral elements in phytotherapics


The habit of using plants for healing purposes is an early manifestation of human endeavor to understand and use nature resources. The accumulated empirical knowledge about medicinal plants still represents the only therapeutic option for many communities and ethnic groups. This practice, which is characterized by the use of natural resources as a treatment and cure of disease, is as old as mankind. According to data from the World Health Organization, approximately 80% of world population has resorted to the benefits of certain herbs with therapeutic action, popularly recognized.In research for development of herbal medicines the active principle is the main focus for scientific confirmation of the therapeutic properties, so there are few data with regarding the concentrations of these elements in plant drugs. Knowledge of the concentrations of these elements can be used to check possible interference with their therapy, or if these elements are toxic to humans.The determination of major, minor and trace elements, the research of metabolic processes and their impacts on human health is of great importance due to the growth of environmental pollution that directly affects the plants.The content of inorganic substances resulting from the complete incineration of plant material subjected to chemical analysis indicates the wealth of mineral elements in the sample. The silica content must consider in the samples because as they are calcined the organic constituents are removed, resulting only in the inorganic constituents and silica.Plants can contain heavy metals coming from soil, water or air. The World Health Organization and the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency set standards for quality control of medicinal plants including classification, botanical identification, determination of active ingredients and identification of contaminants.The objective of this project is to determine the content of inorganic constituents in medicinal plants and their extracts, total ash, silica, calcium and magnesium by titration, the elements As, Ba, Br, Cs, Co, Cr, Fe , Hf, Rb, Sb, Se, Sc, Ta, Th, U and Zn by neutron activation analysis, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd and Hg by atomic absorption in order to verify the quality of products and their compliance with the standards . (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SILVA, PAULO S. C.; FRANCISCONI, LUCILAINE S.; GONCALVES, RODOLFO D. M. R.. Evaluation of Major and Trace Elements in Medicinal Plants. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, v. 27, n. 12, p. 2273-2289, . (11/06827-9, 11/06768-2)

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