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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 2752836, 7 pages
Research Article

Profile of Trace Elements in Selected Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Diabetes in Eritrea

1Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Eritrea Institute of Technology, 1056 Maekel, Eritrea
2Department of Chemistry, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Nairobi 62000-00200, Kenya
3Department of Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, 8566 Asmara, Eritrea
4SGS, Mineral Assay Laboratory, Bisha Mining Share Company, 4275 Asmara, Eritrea

Received 29 June 2016; Revised 12 September 2016; Accepted 15 September 2016

Academic Editor: Kazuyuki Tobe

Copyright © 2016 Mussie Sium 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.


This study was designed to investigate the profile of certain trace elements having therapeutic properties related to diabetes mellitus. The investigated plants were Aloe camperi, Meriandra dianthera, Lepidium sativum, Brassica nigra, and Nigella sativa. These plants are traditionally used in the management of diabetes in Eritrea. The elemental analysis was conducted using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) techniques. The accuracy of the methods was verified using in-house reference materials (CRMs) and no significant differences were observed between the measured and certified values. The analysis displayed variable concentrations of the different trace elements including Zn, Cr, V, Mn, and Se in the plants. Moreover, the levels of major elements, such as Mg, Ca, K, Na, and Ba, and heavy metals, such as Fe, Cu, Ni, Co, As, and Pb, were determined and found to be in the permissible limit defined by WHO. Among the plants, Meriandra dianthera showed the highest levels of Mn, Cr, V, and other elements and the values were significantly different ().