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October 2021

Cad Saude Publica. 1998 Jul-Sep; 14(3): 613-6.

[Surveillance of phytotherapeutic drugs in the state of Minas Gerais. Quality assessment of commercial samples of chamomile]

Brandão MG, Freire N, Vianna-Soares CD.

Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Produtos Farmacêuticos, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Olegário Maciel, 2.360, Belo Horizonte, MG, 30180-112, Brasil.

Marketing of medicinal plants and phytotherapeutic products is spreading all over the world. In order to assess the commercialization of medicinal plants and phytotherapeutic products in the State of Minas Gerais, we identified and tested for the presence of adulterants and active ingredients in 27 samples of chamomile. All the samples consisted of Matricaria recutita flowers, but they were badly fragmented, a result of excessive handling and poor preservation. All samples contained contaminants, and insects were observed in 63% of the samples sold in drugstores. Only 50% of the samples in each group had the essential oils needed to produce antiinflammatory activity. Flavonoids and other phenolic constituents with a spasmolytic effect were detected in only 20% of the samples from each group. Results with chamomile indicated the poor quality with which medicinal plants and phytotherapeutic products are marketed and confirm the need for surveillance of such products in Brazil.

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