Toxic and Potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM) is a special and very important category of Chinese medicines. They have long been used in traditional medical practice and are being used more and more widely throughout the world in recent years. As there may be many fatal toxic effects caused by misusing or confusion of T/PCMM, their quality and safety control arouse increasing attention internationally. Researches on the accurate identification to ensure the safe use of T/PCMM are acquired; however, there are few reports on authentication. We are carrying out a series of studies on 31 T/PCMM originating from plants, animals, minerals, and secreta. In our previous studies, we proved that modern microscopic authentication is a simple, fast, effective, low cost, and less toxic method for identifying animal, seed, and flower T/PCMM. In the present study, we focused on the authentication of four kinds of mineral arsenicals, including orpiment (mainly containing As2S3), realgar (mainly containing As4S4), arsenolite, and arsenic trioxide (mainly containing As2O3). We examined the macroscopic and microscopic characteristics of the above minerals and found that they all can be easily identified and authenticated by using light microscopy coupled with polarized microscopy. Moreover, the authentication results for arsenolite and arsenic trioxide are confirmed by ICP-MS analysis. We are sure that the morphological and microscopic characteristics indicated here are indispensable to establishing standards for these four mineral T/PCMMs.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Arsenic trioxide
- ICP-MS analysis
- Morphological and microscopic studies
- Toxic and Potent Chinese Materia Medica (T/PCMM)