Characterisation of some exotic fruits (Morus nigra, Morus alba, Salvadora persica and Carissa opaca) used as herbal medicines by neutron activation analysis and estimation of their nutritional value

  • Mohammad Wasim
  • Muhammad Daud
  • Mohammad Arif
  • Rameez ul-Islam
  • Sajid Iqbal
  • Yasir Anwar


In the under developed countries, the people of far-flung rural areas still depend to a large extent upon herbal medicines. At the foundation of usage of herbal medicine is the experience of thousands of years. The present paper deals with the characterisation of exotic fruits for essential and toxic elements. The samples include Morus nigra, Morus alba, Salvadora persica and Carissa opaca (from low and high altitude). Two standardizations of neutron activation analysis, that is, semi-absolute k 0-instrumental neutron activation analysis (k 0-INAA) and epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA) were employed for the quantification of elements. The analysis methodologies were validated by analyzing the IAEA-336 (lichen) and NIST-SRM-1572 (citrus leaves). Sixteen elements including Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Fe, I, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc Sr, and Zn were determined in all samples. Daily intakes of various elements from the samples were measured and compared with the dietary reference intakes. Additionally, principal component analysis was performed to extract information regarding samples and elements.


k0-INAA ENAA Morus nigra Morus alba Salvadora persica Carissa opaca Minerals Herbal medicine 


  1. 1.
    Kolasani A, Xu H, Milikan M (2011) Evaluation of mineral content of Chinese medicinal herbs used to improve kidney function with chemometrics. Food Chem 127:1465–1471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Olabanji SO, Omobuwajo OR, Ceccato D, Buoso MC, Poli MD, Moschini G (2006) Analysis of some medicinal plants in South-Western Nigeria using PIXE. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 2006:515–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Choudhury RP, Acharya R, Nair AGC, Reddy AVR, Garg AN (2008) Availability of essential trace elements in medicinal herbs used for diabetes mellitus and their possible correlations. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 276:85–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rajurkar NS, Damame MM (1997) Elemental analysis of some herbal plants used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases by NAA and AAS. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 219:77–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lamari Z, Landsberger S, Braisted J, Neggache H, Larbi R (2008) Trace element content of medicinal plants from Algeria. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 276:95–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Reilly C (2004) The nutritional trace metals. Blackwell Publishing, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Navarra T (2004) The encyclopedia of vitamins, minerals and supplements. Facts On File, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mohan LK, Stump SE (2000) Krause’s food, nutrition and diet therapy. WB Saunders Company, PhiladephiaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tripathi RM, Raghunath R, Krishnamoorthy TM (1997) Dietary intake of heavy metals in Bombay city India. Sci Tot Environ 208:149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yamashita CI, Saiki M, Sertie JAA (2006) Elemental analysis of leaves and extracts of Casearia medicinal plants by instrumental neutron activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 270:181–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kanias GD, Kilikoglou V, Tsitsa V, Loukis A (1993) Determination and statistical analysis of trace element and active constituent concentrations in the medicinal plant Eucalyptus Camaldulensis Dehnh (E. Rostratus schlecht). J Radioanal Nucl Chem 169:483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lokhande R, Singare P, Andhele M, Acharya R (2010) Study of some Indian medicinal plants by application of INAA and AAS techniques. Natural Sci 2:26–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Devi KN, Sarma HN, Kumar S (2008) Estimation of essential and trace elements in some medicinal plants by PIXE and PIGE technique. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res, Sect B 266:1605–1610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Majid AA, Sarmani S, Yusoff NI, Wei YK, Hamzah F (1995) Trace elements in Malaysian medicinal plants. J Radioanal Nucl Chem Art 195:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Belakova M, Havranek E, Bumbalova A (1995) Heavy metalts and some other elements in medicinal plants. Determined by X-ray fluorescence analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem Lett 201:431–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Khare CP (2007) Indian medicinal plants: an illustrated dictionary. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Anon (1986) The useful plants of India. India: Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zheng H, Wu Y, Ding J, Binion D, Fu W, Reardon R (2006) Invasive plants of Asian origin established in the United States and their natural enemies. USDA Forest Service, MorgantownGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nicholson BE, Harrison SG, Masefield GB, Wallis M (1969) The Oxford book of food plants. Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lanzara P, Pizetti M (1978) Simon and Schuster’s guide to trees. Simon and Schuster, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hines DA (1993) Indigenous multipurpose trees of Tanzania: uses and economic benefits for people. FAO, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rai SK, Mallavarapu GR, Pandey-Rai S, Srivastava S, Singh D, Mishra R, Kumar S (2006) Constituents of the flower oil of Carissa opaca growing in the Aravalli mountain range at New Delhi. Flavour Fragr J 21:304–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ahmad SS, Mahmood F, Dogar Z, Khan ZI, Ahmad K, Sher M, Mustafa I, Valeem EE (2009) Prioritization of medicinal plants of Margala Hills National Park, Islamabad on the basis of available information. Pak J Bot 41:2105–2114Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Høgdahl OT (1962) Neutron absorption in pile neutron activation analysisGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wasim M, Zaidi JH, Arif M, Fatima I (2008) Development and implementation of k 0-INAA standardization at PINSTECH. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 277:525–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    De Corte F, Simonits A (2003) Recommended nuclear data for use in the k 0 standardization of neutron activation analysis. At Data Nucl Data Tables 85:47–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Landsberger S, Wu D (1993) Improvement of analytical sensitivities for the determination of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, indium, iodine, molybdenum, silicon and uranium in airborne particulate matter by epithermal neutron activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem Art 167:219–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wasim M (2010) GammaLab: a suite of programs for k 0-NAA and gamma-ray spectrum analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 285:337–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wasim M, Arif M, Zaidi JH, Anwar Y (2009) Development and implementation of k 0-INAA standardization at 10 MW Pakistan research reactor-1. Radiochim Acta 97:651–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Akhter P, ur-Rehman K, Orfi SD, Ahmad N (2004) Assessment of iodine levels in the Pakistani diet. Nutrition 20:783–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vandeginste BGM, Massart DL, Buydens LMC, Jong SD, Lewi PJ, Smeyers-Verbeke J (1998) Handbook of chemometrics and qualimetrics, part B. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Wasim
    • 1
  • Muhammad Daud
    • 1
  • Mohammad Arif
    • 1
  • Rameez ul-Islam
    • 2
  • Sajid Iqbal
    • 1
  • Yasir Anwar
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry DivisionPakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.National Institute of Lasers and OptronicsIslamabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations