The concentrations of seven macro- and microelements (K, Mg, Ca, Na, Fe, Zn, Mn) in 59 herbs (herbs, leaves, flowers, fruits, roots), which are commercially available and frequently used in Poland for medical purposes as well as in their water extracts (infusions and decoctions), were determined after microwave mineralization. The data obtained show that all herbal raw materials analysed contain macroelements in the range of mg g−1 on d.w. whereas microelements in the range of mg kg−1 on d.w. and that elemental concentrations varied widely. On the basis of a comparison of concentrations of elements in herbal raw materials examined and water extracts prepared from them, the extraction efficiency was expressed as a percent of the total content of each element present in the infusion or decoction. The percentages of macro- and micro- elements leaching from different morphological parts of plants into water extracts varied across a wide range of values, from 1% in the case of Na to 56% in the case of K. Real daily intake of the macro- and microelements elements through one cup of infusions or decoctions were shown that water extracts from herbal raw materials are not an important source of bioelements in human diet. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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