Application of microscopic techniques in authentication of herbal tea-Ku-Ding-Cha

Chun Fung Tam, Yong Peng, Zhitao LIANG, Zhen Dan He, Zhongzhen ZHAO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Ku-Ding-Cha, a kind of herbal tea, has been widely used in China for a long time to support cardiovascular health. Confusion arises because in different parts of China different plants are used to produce the commercial teas. It is important to determine the identity of the used species in order to authenticate genuine Ku-Ding-Cha. However, once the plants have been processed, it is difficult to identify them through macroscopic identification; other means are necessary. A comparative study was made on 24 samples of Ku-Ding-Cha, including five standard identified and authenticated plants and 19 commercial samples, by microscopic techniques. The results showed that the shapes of leaf blades, xylem cells, stone cells, and calcium oxalate crystals could be used for the identification of the plants from which the commercial products were made. The method was proven to be quick, handy, simple, and convenient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-932
Number of pages6
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Authentication
  • Herbal tea
  • Ku-Ding-Cha
  • Microscopic techniques


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