Toxic Metals in Herbal Medicines. A Review
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
Keywords: Antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, herbal medicines, lead, mercury, PGMs.
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