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Bacopa monnieri – A pollutant detector of mineral water and soft drinks
Bacopa monnieri is a highly medicinal plant growing naturally in wet soil, shallow water and marshes. Studies on the physiological aspects of Bacopa monnieri towards heavy metal toxicity under laboratory conditions revealed that this plant is considerably tolerant to heavy metals and even trace quantities of these metals are accumulated in the plant body during growth. In the present investigation, rooted cuttings of B. monnieri was cultivated in different concentrations of mineral water (Aquafina, King fisher, Soorya etc), and soft drinks (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, 7-Up, Thums-Up etc.) available in the market and presence of heavy metal accumulation was localized by staining in the cross sections of their stems. Analytical study also showed considerable quantities of Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Pb, etc. in different parts of the plant. It is inferred that the medicinal property and wide use of B. monnieri as an ingredient of many Ayurvedic medicines and Food supplements on one hand and bioaccumulation potential and phytoremediation efficacy on other are paradoxical.
Bacopa monnieri, pollutant detector, medicinal property, bioaccumulation, paradox
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