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Study on mineral content of some ayurvedic indian medicinal plants by instrumental neutron activation analysis and aas techniques

Pravin Singare

Background: One of the main problems of ethnomedicine, Ayurvedic system is lack of solid scientific evidence regarding safety, efficacy, quality of practices and their precise molecular mechanisms. However, many Ayurvedic preparations appear to demonstrate significant success in treatment and cure of complex diseases. Purpose: In order to develop a stronger basis for appreciating the curative effects of Ayurvedic medicinal plants, the aim of the present study was to investigate their elemental composition, which is very often overlooked in biochemical assays. Sample and Method: In the present study is applied one of the sensitive analytical techniques such as instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) to study the essential elemental content in different parts of six different Indian medicinal plants. The samples were irradiated with thermal neutrons in a nuclear reactor and the induced activities were counted by γ -ray spectrometry using efficiency calibrated high resolution High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detector. Results: The results were discussed with careful reference to established role of essential elements in the physiology and pathology of human life. The overall impact of these essential trace elements on human health is also discussed. Conclusion: The data obtained on elemental concentration of the medicinal plants studied will be useful in deciding the dosage of the Ayurvedic drugs prepared from these plant materials. The results of the present research work will be helpful to Ayurvedic clinicians and scientists who would like to pursue further research in the areas of Ayurvedic and alternative medicines.