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Published on:11th May, 2012
Pharmacognosy Journal, 2012; 4(29):5-18
Original Article | doi:10.5530/pj.2012.29.2

Application of microscopy in authentication of the 3 species of Traditional Tibetan and Qiang Herbs of “Wu-Jia Vegetables”

Authors and affiliation (s):

Yan-Dan Li1, Ying Li2, Yuan Liu1*, Qing-Yan Meng3, Chao-Qin Ren4, Zhi-Feng Zhang1, Lu-Yang Lu1, Lian-Xin Peng5, Gang Zhao5 and Brian Mcgarvey6

1Ethnic Medicine Institute of Southwest University for Nationalities, No. 16, South 4th Section, 1st Ring Road, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041,

2Traditional Chinese Medicine College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of TCM, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Western Development and Utilization of Chinese Medicinal Materials, Chengdu, Sichuan, 611137, P. R. China,

3Key Laboratory of Biological Resource Protection and Utilization of Tarim Basin, Xinjiang Production & Construction Group, Alaer, Xinjiang, 843300, P. R. China. 

4Department of Biology and Chemical, Aba Teachers College, Wenchuan, Sichuan, 611741, P. R. China, 

5Faculty of Biotechnology Industry of Chengdu University, Chendu, 610106, China. Mr. Lian-Xin Peng, Email: 31961850.@qq.com; Prof. Gang Zhao,

6Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, London, Ontario, N5V 4T3, Canada.


Background: The new tender leaf of Acanthopanax giraldii Harms, A. leucorrhizus (Oliv.) Harms var. fulvescens Harms & Rehd, and A. setchuenensis Harms ex Diels are collected as “Wu-Jia Vegetables” in every spring. Objective: To distinguish the 3 species of “Wu-Jia Vegetables” collected from the Aba and Ganzi Autonomous Prefectures in Sichuan province of China and ensure their safety and efficacy. Materials and Methods: The 3 species of “Wu-Jia Vegetables” were collected during flowering and fruiting in high mountain boscage slopes about 3100 meters above sea level from Qinghai-Tibet plateau, China (SWUN). (Table1). Fresh materials were fixed in FAA. Samples were passed through the traditional ethanol and dimethylbenzene series, embedded in paraffin, and then sliced with a microtome and stained with safranine-fast green and finally mounted. The leaves were isolated by Nitric acid Chromate method. The samples of herbs were powdered. Results: The 3 species of “Wu-Jia Vegetables” were studied to compare the distinguishing morphoanatomic details of root, cortex of stem, leaf and petiole, fruit and fruit stalk, and powders. The microscopic features were systematically described and illustrated. And detailed key authentication parameters based on these anatomic characteristics were presented. A key was constructed to the 3 species for convenient classification. Conclusion: This method was simple, accurate and repeatable. It was useful for the study of authenticating and distinguishing 3 species of “Wu-Jia Vegetables”.

Key Words: Acanthopanax, microscopy authentication, morphoanatomy, the medical and edible use, Tibetan and Qiang herbs, “Wu-Jia Vegetables”


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