alexa Reduction of Toxic Heavy Metals in Traditional Asian Herbs By Decoction Preparation
ISSN: 2155-9821

Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques
Open Access

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Research Article

Reduction of Toxic Heavy Metals in Traditional Asian Herbs By Decoction Preparation

Seung–Hoon Lee1,2*, In-Jun Wee1,2 and Chang-Ho Park3
1Department of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Healing Hand Healthcare Center, 3400 W. 6th St. Suite 305, Los Angeles, CA 90020, USA
2Department of Oriental Medicine and Society, Acupuncture Network, 430 32nd St. Suite 100, Newport Beach, CA 92663, USA
3Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Kyung Hee University, 1 Seocheon-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 446-701, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author : Seung–Hoon Lee
Healing Hand Healthcare Center
3400 W. 6th St. Suite 305
Los Angeles, CA 90020, USA
Tel: 1-213-210-4006
Fax: 1-213-478-0960
E-mail: [email protected]
Received April 06, 2012; Accepted May 05, 2012; Published May 07, 2012
Citation: Lee SH, Wee IJ, Park CH (2012) Reduction of Toxic Heavy Metals in Traditional Asian Herbs By Decoction Preparation. J Bioprocess Biotech 2:122. doi: 10.4172/2155-9821.1000122
Copyright: © 2012 Lee SH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Heavy metal contents in traditional Asian herbs need to be monitored closely because of potential health risks of heavy metals at high concentrations. Total amount of toxic heavy metals (lead, copper, cadmium, chromium, mercury and arsenic) in each herb listed in the recipe of Ssanghwatang (one of the most popular herbal drinks in Korea) was 22.6-42.1 mg/kg as determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES). These levels were notable because they were comparable to or above the guideline (30 mg/kg) set by Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA). However, herbal tea prepared by decoction preparation (a process of extracting medicinal components from the herbs by boiling them in water) contained only 6.35-12.2 % of the original toxic heavy metals in the herbs. Instead the remainder of toxic heavy metals was found in the herbal residue and the hempen cloth filter. The result suggests that drinking herbal tea is a much safer way of taking beneficial nutrients from the herbs as compared with consuming the whole herbs. 

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