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INAA and AAS study of essential trace elements in ayurvedic Indian medicinal plants

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Specific parts (leaves and fruits) of different medicinal plants often used in Indian ayurvedic system were analysed for 18 elements (K, Mn, Na, Fe, Zn, Cu, Co, Br, Sm, Cl, La, Al, Cr, Ca Cd, Ni, Pb and Hg) by employing instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) techniques. 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. Most of the medicinal plants were found to be rich in one or more of the elements under study. The elemental concentration in different part of medicinal plants and their biological effects on human beings are discussed.

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