Proton induced gamma emission (PIGE) reactions were employed for determining fluorine (F), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na) concentrations in samples of some pharmacologically important plants used to make dental chewing sticks in Bangladesh. The amount ofF in the samples (above the method detection limit of 12 mg/kg dry sample) ranged from 50±19 to 222±17 mg/kg, with the highest concentration found in Neem leaves. In plant trunk samples the highest level of F (122±14 mg/kg) was found in the Bely-asra plant, but no F was measured in trunk samples of Nishinda, Neem, or Bohera. Likewise, no F was found in trunk samples of Joytun (the most popular chewing stick source used by devout Muslims), nor in such samples of Kaminee, Akondo, Batul, Olut-kumbal, and Sheora. The biologically important elements Mg and Na were also measured and were present in the range of 3231±81 to 7430±299 mg/kg and 10±2 to 1521±8 mg/kg, respectively. Bohera leaves contain the highest amount of Mg, and Joytun trunk samples have the highest level of Na. These findings may be important in considering the value of these chewing sticks on dental and oral health.
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