Authentication of the 31 species of Toxic and Potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM) by microscopic technique, part 2: Three species of seed T/PCMM

Li Xia, Li Ping Bai, Chu Chu, Ping Li*, Zhi Hong JIANG, Zhongzhen ZHAO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Toxic and Potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM) are being used more and more in the treatment of various diseases. In view of their toxic side effects and to ensure their safe use, accurate and reliable authentication is indispensable. However, identifying characteristics of T/PCMM are seldom reported, even though modern microscopy can provide ample, unique identifying characteristics from cells found in transverse sections and powders. In particular, no systematic authentication studies on seed T/PCMM have been conducted. In the course of our study on 31 T/PCMM originating from plants, animals, minerals, and secreta, an accurate and convenient method, based on microscopic techniques, has been developed and reported for the authentication of animal T/PCMM. The present study deals with detailed investigations on three species of seed T/PCMM, namely Semen Hyoscyami (Hyoscyamus niger L.), Semen Euphorbiae (Euphorbia lathyris L.), and Semen Strychni (Strychnos nux-vomica L.). The macroscopic characters are here described in detail, and the microscopic characters were conclusively determined by common and polarized light microscopy. Results showed that these three T/PCMM can be easily identified by the present method even when powdered and combined. Thus, the microscopic method is applicable for authentication of the earlier three T/PCMM, and the morphological and microscopic characteristics described here are proposed as parameters to establish the authenticity of these three T/PCMM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Authentication
  • Morphological and microscopic studies
  • Semen Euphorbiae
  • Semen Hyoscyami
  • Semen Strychni
  • Toxic and Potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM)


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