Determination of Some Essential and Toxic Elements in Herbs from Bulgaria and Macedonia Using Atomic Spectrometry

Galia D. Gentscheva, Trajce Stafilov, Elisaveta H. Ivanova

Article (PDF)


Herbs; essential and toxic elements; atomic spectrometry


Data on the content of Mn, Fe, Zn, Ni, Pb, Co and Cd in the dry mass of chamomile blossoms (Matricaria chamomilla L.), peppermint blossoms (Mentha piperita), dog rose blossoms (Rosa canina L.) from Bulgaria and hibiscus blossoms, rose hips with hibiscus blossoms, tutsan blossoms (Hyperici herba) and linden blossoms (Tilia) from Macedonia are reported. The herb samples were subjected to microwave-assisted digestion with HNO3 and H2O2 and were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) using flame or Zeeman electrothermal atomization. For data validation, the results were compared to those, obtained by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). The contents of the elements in the herbs investigated generally followed the pattern: Fe>Mn>Zn>Ni>Pb>Co>Cd. Aqueous extracts of the herbs were analyzed by flame AAS for their content of Mn, Zn and Fe, and by hydride generation (HG) AAS for As(III) and total As. It was found that up to 90 % of the essential elements Mn and Zn were extracted in the aqueous herbal infusions, while Fe extraction did not exceed 17 %. As (III) constituted up to 40% of the total amount of As.