• Research expands into Chinese herbal medicines


Research expands into Chinese herbal medicines

Feb 24 2012

The growing popularity of Chinese herbal medicines has prompted the Department of Health in Hong Kong to publish reference standards on safety and quality based on research from six local universities.

Methods of identification were outlined in the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS), which include microscopic identification, thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting. The volume additionally sets out the name, source and description of the 36 herbs.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "As the popularity of Chinese herbal medicines grows while the demand for public health protection also increases, it is imperative to safeguard the safety and quality of commonly used Chinese herbs through the establishment of reference standards."

In order to undergo testing the drugs must be in common usage in the local community, and have a high economic value and an international concern in respect of their safety and quality.

The DH will issue letters to Chinese medicine trade associations, wholesalers and manufacturers of Chinese medicines and representatives of laboratories, inviting them to briefing sessions.

Posted by Ben Evans

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