The Health Risk Assessment of Essential Elemental Impurities (Cu, Mn and Zn) Through the Dermal Exposure of Herbal Ointment Extracted from Marjoram Herb (Majoranae herbae extractum)

Jurowski K., Folta M., Tatar B., Berköz M., Krosniak M.

BIOLOGICAL TRACE ELEMENT RESEARCH, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12011-021-02842-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Marjoram herb extract, Essential elemental impurities, Herbal medicinal product, Toxicological risk assessment, TOXICOLOGICAL ANALYSIS, PRODUCTS, PLANTS
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Essential elements like Cu, Mn and Zn are extremely important for herbs' growth and physiological functions; however, from a toxicological point of view, the exposure of these elements (as essential elemental impurities) can exhibit potential harmful effects for patients. In Europe, very popular are ointments with Marjoram herb extract (Majoranae herbae extractum) as herbal medicinal products for adjunctively in rhinitis (runny nose). Based on posology of ointments with Marjoram herb extract, the exposure to these elemental impurities may be high during long-term use. Hence, the aim of this article is the health risk assessment of essential elemental impurities (Cu, Mn and Zn) through the dermal exposure of ointments with Marjoram herb extract (Majoranae herbae extractum) as herbal medicinal products applied adjunctively in rhinitis available in Polish pharmacies. The investigated essential elements were determined by well-validated methodology (R > 0.997, recoveries, LOD and LOQ values were acceptable) based on flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Our results indicated that all analysed herbal medicinal products with Marjoram herb extract available in Polish pharmacies contain relatively low levels of essential element impurities, i.e. Cu (0.14-0.49 mg/kg), Mn (0.31-2.57 mg/kg) and Zn (0.73-3.19 mg/kg). The estimated exposure of the investigated elemental impurities confirms the safety of all products. To the best of our knowledge, the study about Cu, Mn and Zn contents in HMPs with Majoranae herbae extractum is described for the first time. The applied methodology and results are extremely important from regulatory toxicology point of view due to ICH Q3D elemental impurity guideline for pharmaceuticals.