The Prospect of Application of Extractive Reference Substance of Chinese Herbal Medicines


The emerging development of Extractive Reference Substance (ERS) is a methodology that meets the needs for quality control for Chinese Herbal Medicines (CHM) and respects the holistic viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its clinical use of multiple ingredients with synergistic effects. The convention of using just a selected few Chemical Reference Substances (CRS) cannot adequately assess the quality of intact CHM. A validated chemical spectrum of an ERS provides the global characteristics in order to more specifically identify and assess targeted CHM. This paper describes the fundamental concepts, potential significance, and basic criteria of ERS, along with methods of preparation and calibration. Given the diversity of CHM, the various problems that will occur in establishing the proper process of ERS will need to be solved in a step by step manner. The ERSs of Ziziphi spinosae semen and ERS of Fritillaria thunbergii bulbus are given as examples of the development of ERS and demonstrate why we are optimistic about the utility of this approach.

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P. Xie, S. Ma, P. Tu, Z. Wang, E. Stoeger and D. Bensky, "The Prospect of Application of Extractive Reference Substance of Chinese Herbal Medicines," Chinese Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2013, pp. 125-136. doi: 10.4236/cm.2013.44016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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