Elemental Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Some Gastrointestinal Diseases in Ethiopia Using INAA Technique


The aim of the study is to carry out elemental analysis of traditional herbs used as medicinal plants for the treatment of diseases in southern Ethiopia. The medicinal plants are those frequently used by the local/traditional healers for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in the southern part of the country. The instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) technique was deployed using irradiation and counting facilities of the Nigeria Research Reactor-1. Results were obtained for some essential elements at various concentrations for six herbal medicines. The major elements found in samples analyzed include Ca, Mg, Cl, and K, whereas Al, Na, and Fe were found to be in minor concentrations. The estimated daily intake of the analyzed elements was determined and found to be below the upper tolerable limits set by FAO/WHO. Therefore, the results obtained from the analysis of these herbal medicinal plants can be useful for the treatment of diseases and pharmaceutical purposes.

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The support and help provided by the staff of NIRR-1 facility in Nigeria is highly appreciated.


This study is financially supported by the Dilla University and Addis Ababa University.

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Correspondence to Tamene Hailu Melkegna.

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Melkegna, T.H., Jonah, S.A. Elemental Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Some Gastrointestinal Diseases in Ethiopia Using INAA Technique. Biol Trace Elem Res 199, 1207–1212 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02236-2

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  • Medicinal plants
  • Elemental composition
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • INAA