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    For thousands of years, medicinal plants (MPs) have been one of the main sources of drugs worldwide. However, recently, heavy metal pollution has seriously affected the quality and safety of MPs. Consuming MPs polluted by heavy metals such as Pb, Hg, and Cu significantly threaten the health of consumers. To manage this situation, the levels of heavy metals in MPs must be controlled. In recent years, this field has attracted significant attention, but few researchers have systematically summarized various analytical methods. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate methods that can accurately and effectively detect the amount of heavy metals in MPs. Herein, some important analytical methods used to detect heavy metals in MPs and their applications have been introduced and summarized in detail. These include atomic absorption spectrometry, atomic fluorescence spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, neutron activation analysis, and anodic stripping voltammetry. The characteristics of these methods were subsequently compared and analyzed. In addition, high-performance liquid chromatography, ultraviolet spectrophotometry, and disposable electrochemical sensors have also been used for heavy metal detection in MPs. To elucidate the systematic and comprehensive information, these methods have also been briefly introduced in this review.


    Chunyan Guo, Lijuan Lv, Yuchao Liu, Mingyue Ji, Erhuan Zang, Qian Liu, Min Zhang, Minhui Li. Applied Analytical Methods for Detecting Heavy Metals in Medicinal Plants. Critical reviews in analytical chemistry. 2023;53(2):339-359

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    PMID: 34328385

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