Determination of marsh horsetail contamination in horsetail products on the market – 3 step analysis


Determination of marsh horsetail contamination in horsetail products on the market – 3 step analysis


Ivan Lalovski, Margarita Krаsteva, Ivan Svinyarov, Anely Nedelcheva
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Sofia university “Saint. Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia


Equisetum arvense L. (field horsetail) is a plant with variety of properties and uses mentioned in ethnomedicinal sources – diuretic, wound healing, hemostatic, antigout. The species’ range of distribution is throughout the country. Equisetum palustre L. (marsh horsetail) has similar macroscopic diagnostic characteristics and habitat. These similarities pose a threat of contamination of E. arvense products on the market and therefore to human health since E. palustre contains poisonous alkaloids – palustrine, palustridiene. The contamination with E. palustre in 19 products from the markret and pharmacies in the country has been investigated. 15 of them (78,9 %) are monocomponent, while the other 4 (21,1 %) are herbal tea mixtures. Their identity and purity has been determined in three steps – 1. Macroscopic determination; 2. Microsopic determination; 3. Thin layer chromatography, according procedure driscribed in European Pharmacopoeia. 4 (21,1 %), 6 (31,6 %) and 6 (31,6 %) contaminated products have been identified by the respective analyses. Correlation has been found between the three analyses – same samples have been identified as contaminated by all the analyses. Combining the three methods has been proved beneficial in identifying impurities in the products. The obtained results show the lack of strict enough control over gathering and identification of plant material used in the analyzed products on the market. Product safety and effectiveness may be decreased and a threat to the population that uses them may be present. The authors are grateful to the financial support of Bulgarian NSF at the Ministry of Education and Science, Contract 2901/KP-06-China/15/2020.
Keywords: field horsetail, marsh horsetail, contaminations