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Method Development for Chemical Analysis of Medicinal Herbs
The bioactive components in herbs are complex in their composition and often vary in amounts from harvest to harvest. Quality control in the field of herbal medicine is challenging to analytical chemists who must validate a product’s identification and potency. in this work, thin layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with both electron impact and proton transfer chemical ionizations, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) are employed to identify the chemical composition of reishi mushroom, also known as ling zhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), dang gui root (Angelica sinensis), and fang feng root ( Radix saposhnikoviae). the variation in levels of bioactive components of therapeutic interest was also qualitatively investigated for different types of processed herbal samples. the major ingredient compounds, ganoderic acid a (C30H44O7), ganoderic acid F (C 32H42O9), and ganoderic acid H (C32H 44O9) were identified in ling zhi mushroom, ferulic acid (C10H10O4) and ligustilide (C10H 14O2) in dang gui, and cimifugin (C16H18 O6) in fang feng. the mass fragments observed during MS analyses were positively identified as components of the above bioactive compounds in each of these herbs, justifying the use of these analytical instruments as an effective option for herbal medicine identification and quality control.
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