The Toxicological Risk Assessment of Cu, Mn, and Zn as Essential Elemental Impurities in Herbal Medicinal Products with Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis L., radix) Available in Polish Pharmacies

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

BIOLOGICAL TRACE ELEMENT RESEARCH, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12011-021-02779-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index 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: Valerian root, Elemental impurities, Herbal medicinal product, ICH Q3D, PDE, Toxicological analysis, Risk assessment


The toxicological risk assessment (TRA) of elemental impurities (EI) in especially herbal medicinal products (HMP) is a significant challenge for pharmaceutical industry. In Europe, very popular are traditional HMP with valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L., radix) for relief of mild symptoms of mental stress and to aid sleep. The aim of our unique article is the comprehensive TRA of Cu, Mn, and Zn as EI in HMP with V. officinalis L., radix available in Polish pharmacies. This article is a continuation of our previously conducted studies about TRA of heavy metals (Pb and Cd) in these same samples. Investigated elements were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F AAS). The values of the correlation coefficients (R > 0.998) confirm the linearity of the applied instrument for precision and accuracy of results. The recoveries, LOD and LOQ values were acceptable. Our results show that all investigated HMP with valerian root available in Polish pharmacies contain Cu (0.16-0.23 mg/L), Mn (0.11-0.76 mg/L), and Zn (0.22-0.48 mg/L) at a very low level. Based on our estimation of EI including single dose (mu g/20 mL) and estimated daily intake (mu g/day), our results confirm the safety of all pharmaceuticals. To the best of our knowledge, the Cu, Mn, and Zn impurity profile in HMP with V. officinalis L., radix is described for the first time. The applied methodology and results are extremely important from regulatory toxicology point of view (ICH Q3D elemental impurities guideline for pharmaceuticals).