Medicinal plant teas recommended as nutritional source for element supplementation

K. Szentmihályi, G. Taba, C. Lado, J. Fodor, M. Then, É Szoke

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Herbal teas may be effective in adjuvant therapy for the prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus II. Agrimoniae herba, Betulae folium, Bursae postoris herba, Foenigraeci semen, Galegae herba, Maydis stigma, Taraxaci radix, Phaseoli fructus sine seminibus, Urticae folium, and their teas were analysed by ICP-OES for element content. Concentration of the elements of crude drug samples obtained are in good agreement with the average concentrations of plants, although some significantly high concentration has been found for manganese (893 mg kg-1), zinc (275 mg kg-1) and iron (492 mg kg-1) in Betulae folium, for copper (41.2 mg kg-1) in Galegae herba, for iron (2692 mg kg-1) in Taraxaci radix, for calcium (41210 mg kg-1) and magnesium (6275 mg kg-1) in Urticae folium. The common characteristic feature of crude drugs is the relatively high concentration of chromium (0.8-16.3 mg kg-1). Ion concentrations of teas are relatively low. The quantities of metal ions do not cover the daily needs, nevertheless, they may be important as food supplements. According to U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the following teas are good sources: Agrimoniae herba for chromium, Betulae folium for manganese, Taraxaci radix for copper and chromium, Urticae folium for potassium and calcium. The dissolution of elements from plant drugs varies: potassium (22.5-74.7%), sodium (1.9-60.5%), calcium (6.6-28.1%), magnesium (12.3-52.5%) and copper (3.7-51.4%) are readily dissolved. The dissolution of manganese (6.8-32.3%) and of zinc (0-31%) is lower. The dissolution of chromium from Agrimoniae herba (9.55%) is significantly higher, while the dissolution ranges from other plant drugs are between 0-5.9%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalActa Alimentaria
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2005



  • Element (K, Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cr) content
  • Medicinal plant extracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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