To cite this article: Rahim, M. et al. (2016). Heavy metal profile of shilajit samples obtained from Gilgit and Chellas, Pakistan. J. Phys. Sci., 27(2), 139–144, http://dx.doi.org/10.21315/jps2016.27.2.10
Shilajit is considered as one of the wonder medicines of Ayurveda. It is an important drug of the ancient Hindu medication and until present day it is being used extensively for a variety of diseases. However, there are a number of reports which have associated metal poisoning with traditional use of herbal medicine including Shilajit. This study aims to determine the prevalence and concentration of heavy metals in Shilajit obtained from natural valleys of Gilgit (sample A) and Chellas (sample B) which are commonly used in Pakistan. Determination of heavy metals was carried out using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Iron, zinc, chromium, manganese, cobalt and lead were detected in both samples. The percentages of these metals in sample A were 0.19680%, 0.08705%, 0.01138%, 0.0026%, 0.00051% and 0.00008%, respectively, while sample B contains these metals in the following percentages: 0.03210%, 0.00213%, 0.00154%, 0.00147%, 0.00055% and 0.00023%. Our data indicated that the metal concentration in both tested samples are within permissible level as prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO) and are not associated with detrimental health effects.