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Table 3 Comparison of herbal drugs with different methods for “loss on drying” or “water” content and their essential oil contents in European Pharmacopoeia and Chinese Pharmacopoeia

From: Quality standard of traditional Chinese medicines: comparison between European Pharmacopoeia and Chinese Pharmacopoeia and recent advances

European Pharmacopoeia Chinese Pharmacopoeia
Latin name Methods Limits Contents of essential oil Latin name Methods Limits Contents of essential oil
Traditional Chinese medicines in both EP and ChP
 Andrographis Herba LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 10.0% Not included Andrographis Herba Not included Not included Not included
 Angelicae Dahuricae Radix LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 12.0% Not included Angelicae Dahuricae Radix Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 14.0% Not included
 Angelicae Pubescentis Radix LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 10.0% Not included Angelicae Pubescentis Radix Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 10.0% Not included
 Angelicae Sinensis Radix LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 12.0% Not included Angelicae Sinensis Radix Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 15.0% ≥ 0.4%
 Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 100 mL/kg ≥ 9 mL/kg Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma Water (100–105 °C until Δma ≤ 5 mg) ≤ 15.0% Not included
 Aucklandiae Radix LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤12.0% Not included Aucklandiae Radix Not included Not included Not included
 Citri Reticulatae Epicarpium et Mesocarpium LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 12.0% Not included Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 13.0% Not included
 Eucommiae Cortex LD (105 °C) ≤ 12.0% Not included Eucommiae Cortex Not included Not included Not included
 Ligustici Chuanxiong Rhizoma LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 8.0% ≥ 3.5 mL/kg Chuanxiong Rhizoma Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 12.0% Not included
 Ligustici Radix et Rhizoma LD (105 °C) ≤ 12.0% ≥ 5.0 mL/kg Ligustici Rhizoma et Radix Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 10.0% Not included
 Lycii Fructus LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 11.0% Not included Lycii Fructus Water (80 °C until Δm ≤ 5 mg) ≤ 13.0% Not included
 Magnoliae Biondii Flos Immaturus Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 100 mL/kg ≥ 14.0 mL/kg Magnoliae Flos Water (GC) ≤ 18.0%, ≥ 1.0%
 Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 11.0% Not included Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 15.0% Not included
 Magnoliae Officinalis Flos LD (105 °C) ≤ 11.0% Not included Magnoliae Officinalis Flos Water (reduced pressure (≤ 2.67 kPa) at room temperature for 24 h) ≤ 10.0% Not included
 Moutan Cortex LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 11.0% Not included Moutan Cortex Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 13.0% Not included
 Paeoniae Radix Rubra LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 12.0% Not included Paeoniae Radix Rubra Not included Not included Not included
 Persicariae Tinctoriae Folium LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 7.0% Not included Polygoni Tinctorii Folium Not included Not included Not included
 Piperis Longi Fructus LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 11.0% ≥ 6.0 mL/kg Piperis Longi Fructus Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 11.0% Not included
 Polygoni Orientalis Fructus LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 12.0% Not included Polygoni Orientalis Fructus Not included Not included Not included
 Zanthoxyli Bungeani Pericarpium Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 100 mL/kg ≥ 15 mL/kg Zanthoxyli Pericarpium Not included Not included ≥ 1.5%
Other herbal drugs in both EP and ChP
 Allii Sativi Bulbi Pulvis LD (105 °C) ≤ 7.0% Not included Allii Sativi Bulbus Not included Not included Not included
 Anisi Stellati Fructus Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 100 mL/kg ≥ 70 mL/kg Anisi Stellati Fructus Not included Not included ≥ 4.0%
 Belladonnae Folium Not included Not included Not included Belladonnae Herba Water (100–105 °C until Δma ≤ 5 mg) ≤ 13.0% Not included
 Capsici Fructus LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 11.0% Not included Capsici Fructus Not included Not included Not included
 Caryophylli Flos Not included Not included ≥ 150 mL/kg Caryophylli Flos Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 12.0% Not included
 Foeniculi Amari Fructus Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 100 mL/kg ≥ 40 mg/kg Foeniculi Fructus Not included Not included ≥ 1.5%
 Foeniculi Dulcis Fructus Water (toluene distillation) ≤ 80 mL/kg ≥ 20 mg/kg Foeniculi Fructus Not included Not included ≥ 1.5%
 Lini Semen LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 8.0% Not included Lini Semen Not included Not included Not included
 Myrrha LD (105 °C, 2 h) ≤ 15.0% Not included Myrrha Not included Not included ≥ 4.0% for natura myrrh, ≥ 2.0% for colloidal myrrh
  1. LD loss on drying
  2. a Δm: the difference in the mass of the sample between two consecutive weighings