Terminalia, a large genus of Combretaceae, is distributed in Tropical Asia, Africa, and America. Some Terminalia plants are used in folk medicine because they possess powerful medicinal properties. Dried fruits of Terminalia bellirica and Terminalia chebula are used as the main ingredient in Triphala, a famous polyherbal formulation in Ayurvedic medicine and Thai folk medicine, because of their laxative, detoxifying, and rejuvenating effects. To clarify the phylogenetic relationships of medicinal Terminalia species (T. bellirica, T. chebula, and T.
Medicinal pteridophytes are an important group used in traditional Chinese medicine; however, there is no simple and universal way to differentiate various species of this group by morphological traits. A novel technology termed "DNA barcoding" could discriminate species by a standard DNA sequence with universal primers and sufficient variation.
Scutellaria baicalensis GEORGI (Lamiaceae) is the botanical origin of the well-known traditional Chinese medicine "Huang Qin" (Radix Scutellariae). Due to overexploitation that had induced a decline in natural sources, the dried roots of its congeners, S. amoena, S. rehderiana, and S. viscidula, have been used to adulterate it in recent years. This practice may cause a series of inconsistent therapeutic effects and quality control problems in the herbal medicine industry.
Ling-zhi, a widely cultivated fungus in China, has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Although the name 'Ganoderma lucidum', a species originally described from England, has been applied to the fungus, their identities are not the same. This study aims to clarify the identity of this medicinally and economically important fungus. Specimens of Ling-zhi from China (field collections and cultivated basidiomata of the Chinese 'G. lucidum'), G. lucidum from UK and other related Ganoderma species, were examined both morphologically and molecularly.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) preparations are widely used for healthcare and clinical practice. So far, the methods commonly used for quality evaluation of TCM preparations mainly focused on chemical ingredients. The biological ingredient analysis of TCM preparations is also important because TCM preparations usually contain both plant and animal ingredients, which often include some mis-identified herbal materials, adulterants or even some biological contaminants.