Digestion of TCM Materials for Element Analysis with ICP

The digestion behavior of traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCM) was investigated in order to enable subsequent determination of potentially toxic elements. Microwave-assisted sample preparation in high-end quartz vessels in Rotor 8N allows for adequate digestion of a wide range of TCM samples.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is widely used all over the world. The TCM approach is fundamentally different compared to Western medicine. Chinese medicine has a history of 2000 to 3000 years and includes therapies like acupuncture, herbal medicine and qigong exercises.

One major part of it, the herbal medicine, is based on about 600 different herbs, which are rarely administered singly. Formulations are usually complex mixtures of at least four to twenty different herbs, whereas the exact compositions are often unknown.

Harmful concentrations of elements like mercury, lead and cadmium in herbal medicine products are often discussed and sometimes reported. To ensure safe drugs, elemental quantification including a reliable digestion method is highly requested.

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