Next Article in Journal
Antiallodynic Effects of Bee Venom in an Animal Model of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1 (CRPS-I)
Next Article in Special Issue
Sublethal Effects of Solanum nigrum Fruit Extract and Its Pure Glycoalkaloids on the Physiology of Tenebrio molitor (Mealworm)
Previous Article in Journal
The Heat-Stable Enterotoxin Receptor, Guanylyl Cyclase C, as a Pharmacological Target in Colorectal Cancer Immunotherapy: A Bench-to-Bedside Current Report
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dehydropyrrolizidine Alkaloid Toxicity, Cytotoxicity, and Carcinogenicity
Open AccessReview

Worldwide Occurrence and Investigations of Contamination of Herbal Medicines by Tropane Alkaloids

Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Drug and Poisons Information Bureau, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China
Prince of Wales Hospital Poison Treatment Centre, Hong Kong, China
Academic Editor: Kevin Welch
Toxins 2017, 9(9), 284;
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
Tropane alkaloids occur mainly in Solanaceae plants. In the present review, the main objective is to describe the worldwide occurrence and investigations of anticholinergic poisoning due to the contamination of herbal teas and herbs by tropane alkaloids. Tropane alkaloid poisoning can occur after consumption of any medicinal plant if Solanaceae plants or plant parts are present as contaminants. Globally, almost all reports in 1978–2014 involve herbal teas and one of the prescribed herbs in composite formulae. Contamination most likely occurs during harvest or processing. As for prescribed herbs, on-site inspection is necessary to exclude cross-contamination and accidental mix-up at the retail level. The diagnosis is confirmed by screening for the presence of Solanaceae species and tropane alkaloids. Herbal teas and herbs contaminated by tropane alkaloids can pose a serious health hazard because these relatively heat-stable alkaloids may exist in large quantities. The WHO repeatedly emphasises the importance of good agricultural and collection practices for medicinal plants. DNA barcoding is increasingly used to exclude the presence of contaminants (particularly toxic species) and product substitution. All suspected cases should be reported to health authorities so that investigations along the supply chain and early intervention measures to protect the public can be initiated. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropane alkaloids; anticholinergic poisoning; herbal medicines; medicinal plants tropane alkaloids; anticholinergic poisoning; herbal medicines; medicinal plants
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Chan, T.Y.K. Worldwide Occurrence and Investigations of Contamination of Herbal Medicines by Tropane Alkaloids. Toxins 2017, 9, 284.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop