SCM receives Innovation and Technology Fund to study the processing standards for toxic Chinese materia medica

24 September 2014


The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) obtained a funding of HK$3.09 million from the “Guangdong – Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme” under the Innovation and Technology Fund as well as a sponsorship of HK$310,000 from Wai Yuen Tong Medicine Co Ltd and Bio-Gene Technology Ltd to conduct a two-year study on the processing standards for toxic Chinese materia medica

Dr Yu Zhiling, project coordinator and Associate Professor of the Teaching and Research Division, SCM, explained that decoction pieces and processed Chinese materia medica are materials prescribed by Chinese medicine practitioners and used to prepare proprietary Chinese medicines. Since improper processing of materia medica may lead to poisoning, standard processing procedures are critical for producing effective and safe decoction pieces. Notably, there has not been any study on the standardisation of Chinese materia medica in Hong Kong.

Under this project, the research team will optimise the existing manufacturing procedures of three commonly used decoction pieces – Aconiti Radix Cocta, Strychni Semen Preparata and Strychni Semen Pulveratumderived from two toxic Chinese materia medica – in the Affiliated Chinese Medicinal Decoction Pieces Factory of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Corporation, and investigate the methods used to test the quality of these decoction pieces. 

Dr Yu said the results of the project would help guarantee the clinical efficacy and safety of the decoction pieces, and contribute to the establishment of quality control standards for decoction pieces as well as the advancement of technology for the testing and certifying of decoction pieces. Moreover, the experience gained from the study would pave the way for establishing standards for processing other Chinese materia medica.


Dr Yu Zhiling hopes the study will help contribute to the establishment of quality control standards for decoction pieces