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Trace Elements and Antioxidants in Some Medicinal Plants

Author(s): Bola OO, Omowunmi OD2 and Adelaja O

Three medicinal plants, Neem (Azadirachta indica), Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) and Lemon grass (Cymbopgon citratus), were studied to investigate trace elements and antioxidant properties. The medicinal plants studied have been used in folklore medicine for the cure of diseases such as high blood pressure, lowering of blood cholesterol, cancer, fever, leprosy and eye defects. The trace elements investigated were Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu), Selenium (Se) and Zinc (Zn), and antioxidants (Carotenoids, Tocotrienols and Tocopherols), which are known for their ability to cure various ailments, were also analysed. The results show that in all the medicinal plants studied, the concentration of trace elements ranged between (167-190) mg/kg, (1.6-1.8) mg/kg, (1.2-1.4) mg/kg, (6.5-6.7) mg/kg and (7.7-8.9) mg/kg of Mg, Mn, Mo, Cu, Se and Zn respectively. Carotenoids, Tocotrienols and Tocopherols in the medicinal plants ranged between (120-300) mg/kg, (11-14) mg/kg and (3.7-4.00 mg/kg respectively. Ashitaba leaves (Angelica keiskei) showed the highest antioxidant property while Neem leaves (Azadirachta indica), showed the least antioxidant property.

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