Part of the book: Gas Chromatography
The history of medicinal plants on the African continent is huge, the oldest and probably the most diverse, for there are thousands of spoken languages, in the sub-Saharan African region, that are used during the traditional practices that utilize medicinal plants for healing purposes. However, our lines of research have exhibited a potential unprecedented threat to this remarkable history of African medicinal plants by emerging pollutants, the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which are yet to be efficiently and sufficiently reported and documented on in this region. Accordingly, this review chapter reports on sub-Saharan African medicinal plants with the aim of highlighting how undocumented PFASs, in this region, present a huge threat to the extraordinary diversity of these plants and the therapy that they have assisted the low-income populations of this region with for centuries. Thus, we recommend appropriate and regular assessments and monitoring of PFASs, particularly perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) the most studied of these substances and their substitutes, in medicinal plants of the region, for these chemicals have been scientifically proven to be associated to numerous health concerns. The region should also consider properly regulating these compounds.
Part of the book: Medicinal Plants