J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Oct; 58(2): 97-102.
Determination of iron content in different parts of herbs used traditionally for anaemia treatment in East Africa.
Department of Chemistry, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.
The iron content in different parts of eight plants traditionally used to treat anaemia in Eastern Africa was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Extracts were made of plant samples using both wet and dry oxidation procedures. Results obtained from both procedures agree significantly and the average of both methods was taken as the iron content in each plant part. In most cases, the values obtained for the rootbark had a higher total iron content than the corresponding leaves and stembark. The prominent iron contents of 35.69 and 35.21 mg/100 g were found in the rootbark of Bridelia cathartica and Lannea stuhlmannii, respectively. The iron content of the decoctions prepared in the traditional way was low. However, the therapeutic potential of the herbs cannot be established on the basis of available iron content alone as other factors play a role in the absorption of iron in the body.