Contaminants of Medicinal Herbs and Herbal Products
Medicinal plants have a long history of use in therapy throughout the world and still make an important part of traditional medicine. Thus, medicinal plants and herbal products must be safe for the patient (consumer). This review addresses biological contaminants (microbes and other organisms) and chemical contaminants (mycotoxins, toxic elements such as heavy metals, and pesticide residues) as major common contaminants of medicinal herbs and herbal products. To prevent and screen for contamination and ensure safety and conformity to quality standards, medicinal herbs and herbal products should be included in appropriate regulatory framework.