Microscopic Identification of Chinese Materia Medica
Microscopic Identification is a common method to authenticate Chinese Materia Medica (CMM). Using a microscope to identify the characters of structural and cellular features, cells and ergastic substances in section, powder, disintegrated tissue or surface slides of CMM samples in order to determine their botanical origins and assess their qualities according to the Hong Kong Chinese Material Medica (HKCMM) Standards.
Normal light microscopy combined with polariscope and fluorescence microscopy are used in the authentication of CMMs. Structures and cells of herbs have been found to possess stable and specific polariscopic and fluorescent characteristics that can be used to determine the botanical identification of CMMs. Establishing a correlation between microscopic features and active components distributed in a plant’s tissues will enable quality evaluation of Chinese Materia Medica by microscopy.
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