Modern Technology Improves Chinese Herbal Extracts
"Modern technology refine Chinese herbal extract and make it more stable and convenient for patients and consumers,” said the Department of Health (DOH) of Taiwan. It recently unveiled a new technique for converting medicinal herbs into herbal extract granules.
The research project was commissioned by the DOH's “Committee on Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy”. The leading researcher on the project, Mr. Chieh-chi Yu is also an assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taiwan. He pointed out that traditional Chinese herbal extract in granule has some disadvantage. For instance, the ingredients in the granule could deteriorate owing to moisture in the air. In addition, the flavor is sometimes too bitter and the medication volume too bulky.
In order to solve these problems, Mr. Yu first applied an anti-moisture coating to the herbal extract granules. The coating preserves the herbal extract granules for longer periods, decreases unpleasant taste, and increases the stability of the effective constituents. With the medicine humidity-proof, he lowered the amount of excipient, a substance of no therapeutic value, but added to give it form. As a result, the medicine is more concentrated and patients can take less per day. He said: “Of 25g of traditional Chinese herbal extract consumed [today], about half of it is starch, a common form of excipient.” He continued: “When it is refined, the 25g is reduced to 8.6g, only about 1/4 of its original weight.”
Modern technology stimulates the innovation of traditional Chinese medicine. The patients will take less daily dosage of herbal extract granules for convenience and have the same or even better efficacy of treatment. This is a piece of good news to TCM industry.
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