Tea is one of the commonest drinks in most homes. Many people consume tea due to its unique taste and associated health benefits. Several medical disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus have been linked to the excessive generation of free radicals and oxidative stress. Studies conducted on Daily Detox, a tea consumed by many Nigerians have been limited to qualitative assessment of phytochemicals, but quantitative measurement of phytochemical, microelement, macro elements and heavy metal contents of the tea have not been explored. This study was designed to bridge this gap. Two packs of the daily detox made from Agerantus conyzoides (common name, Goat weed) and Loranthus bengwensis (common name, African Mistletoe) each containing 21 tea bags in dust form, supplied by the manufacturer were used for analyses. Quantitative measurements of terpenoids, trypsin inhibitors, tannin, phenol, alkaloids and carotenoids were performed using standard methods. Copper, zinc, iron, sodium, potassium, cadmium, nickel, chromium and manganese were estimated using standard methods. Quantitative values of phytochemicals obtained from the herbal tea were: Terpenoids (325.2 µg/g), trypsin inhibitors (16115.5 µg/g), tannin (39.4 µg/g), phenol (55.0 µg/g), alkaloids (1.9 µg/g), flavonoids (3.0 µg/g) and carotenoids (205.5 µg/g). Macro and micro elements measured from the herbal tea were: Copper (16.9 µg/g), zinc (82.9 µg/g), iron (2742.7 µg/g); sodium (2442.9 µg/g); potassium (22132.8 µg/g); chromium (18.9 µg/g) and manganese (340.4 µg/g). Lead was (9.9 µg/g) while nickel and cadmium levels were undetected. The metabolic roles of these chemicals are discussed in relation to their health benefits.
Key words: Herbal tea, phytochemicals, herbal medicine, traces elements.
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