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Abstract

QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF SOME TOPICAL POLYHERBAL PREPARATIONS ON THE GHANAIAN MARKET

John Nii Adotey Addotey* and Monica Mame Soma Nyansah

ABSTRACT

The aim of this project was to assess the quality of some topical polyherbal ointments available on the Ghanaian market. The indices of quality measured were grouped as follows: organoleptic properties; (appearance, colour, odor and texture), physicochemical properties; (pH, loss of drying and specific gravity), microbial type and load; (Staphylococccus aureus, aerobic bacteria, yeast/molds and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and heavy metals and elements; (Sulphur). A total of eleven (11) polyherbal topical ointments on the Ghanaian market were sampled and evaluated for various parameters. A further study was done to find out the possibility of adulteration or contamination in some of these polyherbal ointments with chemically defined active substances. These chemically defined active substances may be used to boost the therapeutic activity of these ointments. These adulterants were benzoic acid, salicylic acid and Sulphur. Results obtained in the study showed the presence of Sulphur in four samples 4/11 (36.36%). The classification of these as herbal products therefore is questionable. Following chromatographic separation and identification, none of the samples tested were found to contain salicylic acid or benzoic acid. As many as eight of the samples 8/11 (72.72%) had a pH out of the range of the natural skin surface pH; on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora. Two out of the eleven ointments 2/11 (18.18%) had a fungal above the acceptable limit of 103 cfu/g and as many as seven 7/11 (63.63%) tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus. The results on loss on drying and specific gravity were satisfactory. Given that these products were duly registered; post marketing testing must be rigorously pursued in order to guarantee safety.

Keywords: adulteration, quality control, herbal therapy, sulphur, fungal.


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