School of Chinese Medicine
Authentication of the 31 species of toxic and potent Chinese Materia Medica by light microscopy, part 3: Two species of T/PCMM from flowers and their common adulterants
Toxic and potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM) has become a hot and sensitive topic as more and more people around the world are interested in the safety of herbal medicines. T/PCMM is irreplaceable in treating some diseases; but it can easily cause serious problems if confused with other herbal medicines. Accurate identification is essential to ensure their safe use, but up to now, the literature on the authentication of T/PCMM is scant. Thus, we are undertaking a study of 31 T/PCMM originating from plants, animals, minerals, and secreta. Our previous study established microscopic observation as a simple, fast, accurate, and convenient method for identifying and authenticating animal and seed T/PCMM. This study focused on the authentication of flower T/PCMM as a part of the whole study. The flower T/PCMM studies were derived from two species, Datura metel L. (Flos Daturae) and Rhododendron molle G. Don (Flos Rhododendri Mollis). Other species easily confused with these two were also examined and characterized. Using the microscope camera, normal light and polarized light microscopy, we determined the macroscopic and microscopic features of the flowers; in addition, the oil immersion lens was used to study the pollen grain characteristics. The results demonstrated that flower T/PCMM can be identified and authenticated using a light microscope equipped with an oil immersion lens. This same equipment can be easily used to characterize other herbal flower medicines. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Authentication, Flos Campsis, Flos Daturae, Flos Rhododendri Mollis, Morphological and microscopic studies, Oil immersion lens, Toxic and potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM)
Source Publication Title
Microscopy Research and Technique
Link to Publisher's Edition
Chu, Chu, Li Xia, Li-Ping Bai, Qin Li, Ping Li, Hu-Biao Chen, and Zhong-Zhen Zhao. "Authentication of the 31 species of toxic and potent Chinese Materia Medica by light microscopy, part 3: Two species of T/PCMM from flowers and their common adulterants." Microscopy Research and Technique 72.6 (2009): 454-463.