Iron is an essential mineral nutrient for all living organisms, involved in a plurality of biological processes. Its deficit is the cause of the most common form of anemia in the world: iron deficiency anemia (IDA). This paper reviews iron content in various parts of 1228 plant species and its absorption from herbal products, based on data collected from the literature in a semi-systematic manner. Five hundred genera randomly selected from the Angiosperms group, 215 genera from the Pteridophytes groups and all 95 Gymnosperm genera as listed in the Plant List version 1.1 were used as keywords together with the word “iron” in computerized searches. Iron data about additional genera returned by those searches were extracted and included in the analysis. In total, iron content values for a number of 1228 species, 5 subspecies, and 5 varieties were collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to compare iron contents in various plant parts (whole plant, roots, stems, shoots, leaves, aerial parts, flowers, fruits, seeds, wood, bark, other parts) and exploratory analyses by taxonomic groups and life-forms were carried out. The absorption and potential relevance of herbal iron for iron supplementation are discussed.
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