School of Chinese Medicine
Authentication of Chinese Materia Medica decoction dregs, Part 1: Comparison of morphological and microscopic features of four Chinese Materia Medica before and after decoction
Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) decoction dregs are the residues of medicinal materials after decoction. Accurate identification of CMM in decoction dregs will be helpful for exploring the causes of poisoning or other medical incidents arising after the ingestion of CMM decoctions. To determine how decoction affects the characteristics used to authenticate specific CMM, a systematic study was carried out. In this study, two pairs of Materia Medica that are commonly confused-namely, Baizhu (Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma) and Cangzhu (Atractylodis Rhizoma), Baishao (Paeoniae Alba Radix) and Chishao (Paeoniae Rubra Radix)-were chosen for investigation. Each pair of Materia Medica has similar morphology in appearance, but they have different functions in Chinese clinic. After decoction, with regard to gross morphological characters, the results showed that bark and wood could be easily distinguished. The striation of vessels and fibers became more prominent because of the contraction of parenchymatous cells, but the lignified cells did not. As for the microscopic characteristics, the cells with thickened walls, such as stone cells and fibers, were basically stable. Most of the parenchymatous cells were broken. Crystals of calcium oxalate showed no changes as they were insoluble in water. Starch granules were gelatinized and aggregated in parenchymatous cells. Inulins were substantially reduced in number as they dissolved in water during decoction. According to these changes in morphological and microscopic characteristics after decoction, the dregs of two pairs of Materia Medica could be distinguished. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Atractylodis macrocephalae rhizoma, Atractylodis rhizoma, Authentication, Chinese Materia Medica dregs, Paeoniae alba radix, Paeoniae rubra radix
Source Publication Title
Microscopy Research and Technique
Link to Publisher's Edition
Wong, L., Liang, Z., Chen, H., & Zhao, Z. (2011). Authentication of Chinese Materia Medica decoction dregs, Part 1: Comparison of morphological and microscopic features of four Chinese Materia Medica before and after decoction. Microscopy Research and Technique, 74 (4), 320-328. https://doi.org/10.1002/jemt.20910