Medicinal plants and natural products can play a significant role in mitigation of mercury toxicity

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Abstract

Mercury is a heavy metal of considerable toxicity. Scientific literature reveals various plants and plant derived natural products, i.e., phytochemicals, which can alleviate experimentally induced mercury toxicity in animals. The present review attempts to collate those experimental studies on medicinal plants and phytochemicals with ameliorative effects on mercury toxicity. A literature survey was carried out by using Google, Scholar Google, Scopus and Pub-Med. Only the scientific journal articles found in the internet for the last two decades (1998–2018) were considered. Minerals and semi-synthetic or synthetic analogs of natural products were excluded. The literature survey revealed that in pre-clinical studies 27 medicinal plants and 27 natural products exhibited significant mitigation from mercury toxicity in experimental animals. Clinical investigations were not found in the literature. Admissible research in this area could lead to development of a potentially effective agent from the plant kingdom for clinical management of mercury toxicity in humans.

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