Mineral Elements Content of Selected Kenyan Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants
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The use of herbal medicine as an unconventional health treatment is gaining considerable recognition and popularity worldwide. Despite skepticism and a lack of medical evidence to support its therapeutic efficacy, use of herbal remedies has considerably increased. Belief in the superiority of herbs is based mainly on anecdotal evidence, paraherbalism, and pseudoscience. It is only recently that guidelines for their investigation have been developed and a few herbs have been clinically studied. Many diseases including diabetes mellitus has experimentally been shown to be managed by medicinal plant extracts. The hypoglycemic potential of such plants maybe attributable to the mineral elements present in them. This study was designed to determine the content of mineral elements in five Kenyan antidiabetic medicinal plants traditionally used to manage diabetes mellitus using Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF) System and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) techniques. The elements Mg, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Zn, Br, Rb, Cr, Ti, Cu, V, Cl and Pb were identified and their contents estimated. The results of the present study provide justification for the usage of these medicinal plants in the management of diabetes mellitus. The results indicates that the analyzed medicinal plants can be considered as potential sources for providing a reasonable amount of the required elements other than diet to diabetic patients. Moreover, these results can be used to set new standards for prescribing the dosage of the herbal drugs prepared from these plant materials.