Metallic Content of One Hundred Medicinal Plants

Waseem Hassan, Shakilla Rehman, Hamsa Noreen, Shehnaz Gul, Syeda Nida Zainab Kazmi, Maryam Jan, Bakht Zaman, Ata Ur Rehman, Ziarat Shah, Ali Riaz and Imdad Ullah Mohammadzai

Heavy metals are necessary for the normal functioning of cells and the survival of organisms. These are required for physiological and biochemical functioning of the body, but at higher concentration they causes the oxidative damage. In fact non-essential metals like (lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd)) are more noxious even at very low concentration. It’s important to note that heavy metals are present in soil, air and water can easily enter into the organisms. Literature highlighted the role of metals like chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and arsenic (As) in oxidative damage. Fenton chemistry/Haber-Weiss reaction are most extensively studied mechanisms by which heavy metals produces reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) and ultimately causes oxidative stress. Both redox-active and inactive metals can diminish cellular antioxidant system specifically thiol- containing enzymes and antioxidants and may lead to cellular death. This review will contribute in providing valuable information on metallic contents of selected plants. For the purpose, data has been collected from the literature regarding ten mineral contents (sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and manganese (Mn)) of 100 medicinal plants grown in Pakistan. The metallic contents shows that majority of the plants contain optimum values as compared with daily mineral intake standards. However, several factors may account for variations in mineral concentration, which include soil composition, different geographic areas and environmental changes.