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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 9748413, 12 pages
Research Article

Elemental Characterization of Romanian Crop Medicinal Plants by Neutron Activation Analysis

1Institute of Chemistry Timişoara of the Romanian Academy, 24 Mihai Viteazul Bvd., 300223 Timișoara, Romania
2Centre for Energy Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 29–33 Konkoly Thege Miklós út, Budapest 1121, Hungary
3Bio Vital Fares Laboratories, 50 Plantelor Str., 335700 Orăștie, Romania
4Pharmacy II Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, “Victor Babeş” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 2 Eftimie Murgu Sq., 300041 Timișoara, Romania
5Pharmacy I Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, “Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 2 Eftimie Murgu Sq., 300041 Timișoara, Romania

Correspondence should be addressed to Iulia Pinzaru; or.tfmu@uraznipailui

Received 23 February 2017; Revised 10 April 2017; Accepted 13 April 2017; Published 23 May 2017

Academic Editor: Miguel de la Guardia

Copyright © 2017 Daniela Haidu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The metallic elements concentrations of medicinal plants (coriander, dill, Echinacea, lavender, chamomile, mint, and plantain, used for phytopharmaceutical products), cultivated in unpolluted region, were analyzed by neutron activation analysis. The essential nutrients, macro-, micro-, and trace elements (K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Rb, Sr, and Zn), potentially toxic elements (Al, As, Ba, Co, Sb, Cr, and V), and rare earth elements were monitored and were compared with those presented in the literature. An estimation of their contributions to intake and toxicity for a person was made, which revealed that (a) teas prepared from the examined plants represent useful contribution to the food provided intake of three essential macronutrients (K, Ca, and Mg); (b) the Cu, Mn, Rb, Sr, Zn, and rare earths levels are normal or low; (c) the quantities of As, Ba, Co, Sb, Cr, and V do not represent toxicological concerns; (d) the examination of the estimated Al and Fe quantities recovered in infusions in the conditions of usual daily tea consumption is below the Tolerable Daily Intake values. The strategy of cultivation of medicinal plants in unpolluted areas is efficient and beneficial. However, individual plants ability to concentrate preferentially certain elements suggests controlling the contamination level of raw materials.