Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 135–142

Heavy metals in some Chinese herbal plants


  • M. K. Wong
    • Department of ChemistryNational University of Singapore
  • P. Tan
    • Department of ChemistryNational University of Singapore
  • Y. C. Wee
    • Department of BotanyNational University of Singapore

DOI: 10.1007/BF02783172

Cite this article as:
Wong, M.K., Tan, P. & Wee, Y.C. Biol Trace Elem Res (1993) 36: 135. doi:10.1007/BF02783172


The concentrations of nine heavy metals, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead, zinc and mercury in 42 Chinese herbal medicinal plants were determined. Generally, all the samples studied had, relative to the other trace metals, higher concentrations of iron, manganese, and zinc. The concentration range of the metals determined was comparable to that in many of the East Asian vegetables and fruits. A few samples were found to contain relatively higher concentrations of the toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury. This was probably caused by contamination during air-drying and preservation.

Index Entries

Chinese medicinesherbal medicinesheavy metals in herbal plants

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© Humana Press Inc. 1993