A unique issue in the standardization of Chinese materia medica: Processing

Zhongzhen ZHAO*, Zhitao LIANG, Kelvin Chan, Guanghua Lu, Eko Lai Mei Lee, Hubiao CHEN, Lin Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Processing of Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) is a pharmaceutical technique to fulfill the different requirements of therapy, dispensing and making preparations according to traditional Chinese medicine theory. The aims of processing are to enhance the efficacy and/or reduce the toxicity of crude drugs. Those processed products are named as decoction pieces, which are used in clinics. Therefore, there is a close relationship between processing, safety, and efficacy of Chinese medicines. Some toxicity or side effects are caused by improper processing methods and some are due to improper combination of herbal mixtures. Standardization of processing methods for Chinese herbs is as important as authentication to maintain their quality and ensure their safe use. The objective of this paper is to review the literature covering the current situation and problems of CMM processing as well as recent progress in research in this area. A summary of the most urgent work needed is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1975-1986
Number of pages12
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese Materia Medica
  • decoction pieces
  • processing
  • standardization


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