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Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2242; doi:10.3390/molecules22122242

Identification of a Multicomponent Traditional Herbal Medicine by HPLC–MS and Electron and Light Microscopy

1
Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
3
Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taipei 220, Taiwan
4
Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
5
School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
6
Department of Chemical Engineering, National United University, Miaoli 36063, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract

Background: Commercial pharmaceutical herbal products have enabled people to take traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in a convenient and accessible form. However, the quantity and quality should be additionally inspected. To address the issue, a combination of chemical and physical inspection methods were developed to evaluate the amount of an herbal formula, Xiang-Sha-Liu-Jun-Zi-Tang (XSLJZT), in clinical TCM practice. Methods: A high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS) method with electrospray ionization was developed to measure the herbal biomarkers of guanosine, atractylenolide III, glycyrrhizic acid, dehydrocostus lactone, hesperidin, and oleanolic acid from XSLJZT. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) photographs and light microscopy photographs with Congo red and iodine–KI staining were used to identify the cellulose fibers and starch content. Furthermore, solubility analysis, swelling power test, and crude fiber analysis were contributed to measure the starch additive in pharmaceutical products. Results: The results demonstrated large variations in the chemical components of different pharmaceutical brands. The SEM photographs revealed that the starch was oval, smooth, and granular, and that the raw herbal powder appears stripy, stretched, and filiform. The stained light microscopy photographs of all of the pharmaceutical products showed added starch and raw herbal powder as extenders. Conclusion: The developed chemical and physical methods provide a standard operating procedure for the quantity control of the herbal pharmaceutical products of XSLJZT. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbal medicines; LC–MS; Xiang-Sha-Liu-Jun-Zi-Tang; SEM; Congo red stained; iodine–KI stained herbal medicines; LC–MS; Xiang-Sha-Liu-Jun-Zi-Tang; SEM; Congo red stained; iodine–KI stained
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Liu, J.-H.; Cheng, Y.-Y.; Hsieh, C.-H.; Tsai, T.-H. Identification of a Multicomponent Traditional Herbal Medicine by HPLC–MS and Electron and Light Microscopy. Molecules 2017, 22, 2242.

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