Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 135–142 | Cite as

Heavy metals in some Chinese herbal plants

  • M. K. Wong
  • P. Tan
  • Y. C. Wee


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 medicines herbal medicines heavy metals in herbal plants 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. Wong
    • 1
  • P. Tan
    • 1
  • Y. C. Wee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of BotanyNational University of SingaporeSingapore

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