Botanical quality control of digestive tisanes commercialized in an urban area (Bahía Blanca, Argentina)


Rev. bras. farmacogn.




ABSTRACT Digestive herbal teas in the form of monoherbal infusions or in mixtures are the most commonly used form of phytotherapy in Bahía Blanca (Argentina). This practice is based on family tradition reinforced by current trends reverting to the ingestion of natural products. The objective of this work was to analyze the botanical quality of the digestive mixtures sold in Bahía Blanca as fine cut mixtures (in tea bags) and thick cut mixtures (fragmented herbs). Samples of seven mixtures sold in the form of tea bags and four as bags of fragmented herbs were studied under stereoscopic and optical microscopes and micrographic studies were carried out following conventional protocols. Observed characteristics were compared with those in the reference bibliography for verified genuine monoherbs. In the studied products a total of 21 different species were found. There was total concordance between the species declared on the label and those identified in the samples in six of the mixtures in the form of tea bags and in only one of the bags of fragmented herbs. Adulterations were found in four of the samples analyzed (one in a tea bag and three in the fragmented mixtures). The labels on only two of the tea bag samples presented complete and correct information; in the remaining samples irregularities were found related to: the taxonomic identification of the species, the absence of a lot number, date of expiry, the plant parts used and proportions of the herbs etc. The findings underline the great importance of quality controls as a tool to protect the rights of phytotherapy consumers.

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