The Presence of Aflcatoxins in Medicinal Plants Used as Natural Remedies and in Spices

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Wafa Adel Mahmoud Al-Mosleh
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Fifty samples of commonly used remedies and spices were collected randomly from different well known stores at Nablus municipality in a three months period. The collected specimens were evaluated for aflatoxins using VICAM AFLATEST. The results showed that fourty — eight samples contained the aflatoxins. Thirteen samples were found to contain over 20 ppb, and thus exceeding most permitted international standard limits. Liquorice and sumac contained the highest amounts of aflatoxins 76 ppb. Five samples of famous brand tea samples were analysed. All samples were contaminated with aflatoxins, ranging from 20 — 69 ppb. Commonly used spices like anise, chamomille and nutmeg contained also aflatoxins in the range 23.5 — 36 ppb. Aflatoxins are known to cause liver cancer. The finding that tea and spices were rich in aflatoxins is very alarming specially for children and pregnant women.