Traditional Chinese herbal medicines
(TCHM) originated thousands of years
ago and have been modernized to some
degree by transforming the plants and
ingredients to solutions, soluble granules
and tablets. TCHMs are increasingly used
throughout the world, as they are often
perceived as being natural and have few
side-effects. It also has been found that
people in different parts of the world
tend to use the same or similar medicinal
plants for the same purposes. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO)
estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some
aspect of their primary health care.
Due to differences in the plants’ growing environments and nature of the
soil, there are large variabilities in the effectiveness of plants used as TCHM.
Considering the complexity of these medicinal plants and their inherent biological
variation, it becomes necessary to evaluate their safety, efficacy and quality.
Inductively Coupled Plasma –
a p p l i c a t i o n n o t e
Shelton, CT 06484 USA
Liaoning Institute for Food and Drug Control
Shenyang, Liaoning 110023, China
Assuring safety of
herbal medicines by
impurities using ICP-MS
More knowledge of TCM , more wholesome li www.cn-tape.com
Mixed element calibration standards at appropriate con-
centrations were prepared in 5% HNO3 from PerkinElmer®
Pure multi-element and single element standards. Five
point calibration curves (four standards and one blank)
were constructed for all the elements and produced
correlation coefficients greater than 0.999.
Dried and sliced radix codonopsis and radix astragali samples
were provided by Livzon Pharmaceutical Group, as shown
in Figure 1. The samples were ground into powder with an
electric blender and stored in polythene bags until analysis.
Approximately 0.3 grams of samples were digested in