Investigation of Selected Pathogenic Microorganisms and Toxic Elements in Herbal Materials Used in Management of Oral Health in Nairobi County, Kenya
Ngari, Florence W.
Wanjau, R. N.
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Traditional medical practitioners in Kenya have used herbal materials to treat oral diseases for several years.However data on contamination of the herbal medicine with microbial pathogens and toxic metals is lacking.The aim of this study was to investigate presence of selected pathogenic microorganisms and selected elemental levels of herbal materials used in management of oral health in Nairobi. Herbal materials were purchased from Nairobi County and taken to the laboratory for analysis. Microbial contaminants were analyzed by inoculating the herbal samples in selective media followed by macroscopic, microscopic and biochemical studies to identify the microorganisms. Mineral elements were investigated by Total Reflection XRay Fluorescence (TXFR). Results indicate that herbal materials are contaminated with, Escherichia coli,Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhi. The herbal materials are also contaminated with aluminium,chromium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc and lead at various concentrations. The study concludes that some herbal materials in the market are not safe for use by humans orally.