Test Methods

Evaluation of in vitro tests

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Claiming a specific efficacy and safety for a certain herb is already unacceptable, without evidence from proper scientific tests and clinical trials. The general concept is to apply pharmaceuticalstyle testing to ensure that the products of the Chinese medicine satisfy both the consumer needs as well as the government regulations. Hence, it is not only the concerns of both local and worldwide public health and health service to use the Chinese medicines, but there is also an urgent need for testing the safety issues of Chinese medicines to promote and market the Chinese medicines. The dosage of test medicines to cover the null and full inhibition of cytotoxicity and/or differentiation ranged from 0.1ug/ml to 1×10^6 ug/ml for both EST and MM, and the null and full inhibition of development ranged from 1×10-13ug/ml to 1×104ug/ml for WEC. Amongst all test medicines, three-wingnut always had the lowest cytotoxicity IC50 (1.39ug/ml) and differentiation ID50 (7×10-2ug/ml) concentrations for D3 cells in EST, differentiation ID50(3.26ug/ml) concentrations for limb buds in MM and developmental IC 50 (1.2×10-10ug/ml) concentrations for whole embryos in WEC, suggesting three-wingnut is the most embryotoxic Chinese herbal medicines. After three-wingnut, leech, trichosanthes root and figwort flower were the next lowest IC50 and/or ID50 concentrations in EST, MM and WEC, suggesting these Chinese herbal medicines could be embryotoxic.