Estimation of macro and micro nutrients in some important medicinal plants of Soon Valley, District Khushab, Pakistan
Plants are potential source of therapeutic values in different traditional medicine systems of the world. Ethnomedicinal uses of 10 medicinal plants (MPs) of soon valley (Khushab) of Pakistan were documented and explored for trace (Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni, Co, Cd, Pb, Mn and Fe) and major (K, Na, Ca and Mg) elemental composition by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Results depicted that Zn was 15.36 ppm in Convolvulus arvensis. Cu showed max conc. was in P. harmala (18.72 ppm). Cr was highest in Cannabis sativa (30.39 ppm). Ni conc was 30.39 ppm in C. sativa. B. campestris had highest value of Co (8.44 ppm) in analyzed specimens, while H. vulgare recorded least amount of 0.98 ppm. Cd concentration was 2.76 ppm in A. aspera. H. vulgare exhibited higher Pb higher concentration (32.64 ppm). The occurrence range of Mn was 74.60 ppm in P. harmala and 105.56 ppm in A. aspera. Fe in the studied plants was max in H. vulgare (1889.69 ppm). B. campestris exhibited higher concentration of Ca (4210.92 ppm). The contents of Mg were 13342.88 ppm in C. arvensis and 6350.63 ppm in A. aspera, respectively. The quantity of macro and micro elements in analyzed MPs was high and beyond the safety standards of WHO. It demonstrates that use of botanical medicines or its products by man may be fatal and injurious for health and culminating into death. It is necessary to study and accomplish thorough analytical research on herbal medicines (MPs) of Pakistan in order to bring them at par with international standards.
Key words: Soon valley, elemental contents, medicinal plants, safety standards, Khushab, Pakistan.