Assessment of Heavy Metal Content of Branded Pakistani Herbal Products
Purpose: To investigate the heavy metals present in branded Pakistani herbal medicines used in the management of various human ailments.
Method: The herbal dosage forms assessed were tablets, capsules and syrups. The samples were prepared for analysis by wet digestion method using nitric acid and perchloric acid treatment and then analyzed using a flame atomic absorption spectrometer.
Results: Most of the products exceeded the permissible limits for lead (100 %), cadmium (68 %), chromium (96 %) and nickel (100 %). However, the contents of copper, manganese, zinc and iron were below toxic limits in several of the products. Some of the products, including Arq-e-badian, Bazori, Banafsha and Arq-Mako, exhibited toxic concentration of almost all the metals assessed.
Conclusion: There is need to design suitable quality control parameters for the validation of herbal products and/or implement already existing rules and regulations for the safety of end-users.
Keywords: Heavy metals, Branded herbal products, Validation, Toxicity