Brittany Steimle

Adviser: Dr. Christopher Kelson

brittany steimle pictureAn Analytical Method of Studying Natural Supplements

A method of analysis was developed by Dr. Richard J. Ko to study various traditional Chinese herbal medications during his time at the California Department of Public Health Services. In 1997-1998 he compiled his results into a compendium of traditional Chinese herbal medications and found that about 33 percent of the medications that he analyzed contained heavy metals, such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, as well as undeclared pharmaceuticals. As a continuation of Dr. Ko’s research, I would like to examine whether some of the medicines that he studied still contain contaminants. I also hope to determine if some of the herbal supplements that are sold in the United States today contain toxins or undeclared pharmaceuticals.  Some of the raw materials that make up these herbal supplements come from countries around the world, China being a major contributor to the raw materials in U.S. natural supplements.