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Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1673;

Using Light Microscopy and Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Qualitative and Quantitative Control of a Combined Three-Herb Formulation in Different Preparations

Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
Department of Chinese Medicine, E-DA Hospital, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 82445, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
Department of Chemical Engineering, National United University, Miaoli 36063, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher W. K. Lam
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Herbal Medicine Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1483 KB, uploaded 6 December 2016]   |  


Artemisia capillaries Thunb, Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, and Rheum officinale Baill have been combined to treat jaundice for thousands of years. Studies have revealed that these herbs induce anti-hepatic fibrosis and anti-hepatic apoptosis and alleviate hepatic oxidative stress. This study aims to determine the quality and quantity of an herbal formulation (Chinese name: Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang) using physical and chemical examinations. Physical examination of Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang in pharmaceutical herbal products, raw fiber powders, and decoction preparations was performed using Congo red and iodine-potassium staining. A sensitive and validated method employing ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) was developed to simultaneously quantify the bioactive compounds scoparone, geniposide, and rhein in the Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang formulation in different preparations. Physical examination indicated that cellulose fibers with irregular round shapes were present in the pharmaceutical herbal products. The developed UHPLC-MS/MS method showed good linearity and was well validated. The quantification results revealed that the decoction preparations had the highest amounts of geniposide and rhein. Scoparone appeared in pharmaceutical herbal products from two manufacturers. This experiment provides a qualitative and quantitative method using physical and chemical examinations to test different preparations of herbal products. The results provide a reference for clinical herbal product preparations and further pharmacokinetic research. View Full-Text
Keywords: Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang; mass spectrometry; scoparone; geniposide; rhein; herbal medicine Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang; mass spectrometry; scoparone; geniposide; rhein; herbal medicine

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Hsueh, T.-P.; Lin, W.-L.; Tsai, T.-H. Using Light Microscopy and Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Qualitative and Quantitative Control of a Combined Three-Herb Formulation in Different Preparations. Molecules 2016, 21, 1673.

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