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Toxic Metals in Herbal Medicines. A Review

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Herbal medicines are more and more worldwide used. This fact certainly presents serious problems for the potential human health risks. This is due to the fact that the laws in force generally do not provide for strict quality controls of herbal medicines to certify the concentration of compounds and elements that may be hazardous for human health, and sometimes very severe or even lethal. Heavy metals have a decidedly substantial part of the contaminants in herbal medicines.

The present review proposes an exhaustive focus on what are the metals of interest, and what is the state of the art about analytical methodologies suitable to detect these toxic metals in herbal medicines. This review would also be a stimulus to solicit International Organizations to fill the gap of the lack of strict and comprehensive laws regulating the maximum allowable concentrations for an increasing number of contaminants in these matrices, especially considering their enormous consumption.
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Keywords: Antimony; PGMs; arsenic; cadmium; chromium; herbal medicines; lead; mercury

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • The journal aims to provide updates to researchers about new bioactive compounds with proven activities in various biological screenings and pharmacological models. The journal will contain information about the structures, biological activities and sources of chemical entities discovered or designed by researchers and published in leading journals. The aim is to provide a valuable information source of bioactive compounds synthesized or isolated, which can be used for further development of pharmaceuticals by industry and academia.

    The journal should prove to be essential reading for pharmacologists, pharmaceutical chemists and medicinal chemists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments about new bioactive compounds of natural or synthetic origin, including recent patents.
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