Background: Nardostachys jatamansi DC. is indigenous to the Himalayan regions of India
and Tibetan plateau of China, and widely used as drugs for treating various neurological disorders, insomnia,
hysteria and depressive illness. However, beyond the huge efforts to the organic components in
N. jatamansi, the elemental contents have not been investigated, which are important for the quality
control and biosafety evaluation of N. jatamansi.
Objective: In this study, we quantified the element concentrations in N. jatamansi.
Methods: Twenty-five N. jatamansi samples were collected in Sichuan, Tibet, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.
The samples were digested and subjected to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer
Results: The results indicated that Al, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pd, Si, Sr,
Ti and Zn were detected in N. jatamansi samples. The chemometrics approaches indicated that N. jatamansi
samples from Sichuan and Tibet shared similar elemental patterns. The altitude did not statistically
influence the elemental patterns of N. jatamansi samples, while the K, P, Ba and Cd showed meaningful
decreases. The high Ba contents in all samples suggested the potential toxicity of heavy metal to
Conclusion: The inorganic element quantification of N. jatamansi is useful in the genuine regional drug
identification, quality control and biosafety evaluations.