Emergent quality issues in the supply of Chinese medicinal plants: A mixed methods investigation of their contemporary occurrence and historical persistence

Fitzgerald, Martin 2023. Emergent quality issues in the supply of Chinese medicinal plants: A mixed methods investigation of their contemporary occurrence and historical persistence. PhD thesis University of Westminster Life Sciences https://doi.org/10.34737/w6281

TitleEmergent quality issues in the supply of Chinese medicinal plants: A mixed methods investigation of their contemporary occurrence and historical persistence
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsFitzgerald, Martin
Abstract

Quality issues that emerged centuries ago in Chinese medicinal plants (CMP) were investigated to explore why they still persist in an era of advanced analytical testing and extensive legislation so that a solution to improve CMP quality could be proposed.

This is important for 85% of the world’s population who rely on medicinal plants (MP) for primary healthcare considering the adverse events, including fatalities that arise from such quality issues. CMP are the most prevalent medicinal plants globally.

This investigation used mixed-methods, including 15 interviews with CMP expert key informants (KI), together with thematic analysis that identified the main CMP quality issues, why they persisted, and informed solutions. An unexplained case example, Eleutherococcus nodiflorus (EN), was analysed by collection of 106 samples of EN, its known toxic adulterant Periploca sepium (PS), and a related substitute, Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES), across mainland China, Taiwan and the UK. Authenticity of the samples was determined using High-performance thinlayer chromatography.

Misidentification, adulteration, substitution and toxicity were the main CMP quality issues identified. Adulteration was found widespread globally with 57.4% EN found authentic, and 24.6% adulterated with cardiotoxic PS, mostly at markets and traditional pharmacies. The EN study further highlighted that the reason CMP quality issues persisted was due to the laboratory-bound nature of analytical methods and testing currently used that leave gaps in detection throughout much of the supply chain.

CMP quality could be more effectively tested with patented analytical technology (PAT) and simpler field-based testing including indicator strip tests. Education highlighting the long-term economic value and communal benefit of delivering better quality CMP to consumers was recommended in favour of the financial motivation for actions that lead to the persistence of well-known and recurrent CMP quality issues.

Year2023
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
Published01 Jun 2023
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/w6281

Related outputs

Medicinal plant analysis: A historical and regional discussion of Chinese publication trends and emergent complex techniques
Fitzgerald, M., Heinrich, M. and Booker, A. 2020. Medicinal plant analysis: A historical and regional discussion of Chinese publication trends and emergent complex techniques. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 10 1480. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.01480

Unblocking high-value botanical value chains: Is there a role for blockchain systems?
Booker, A., Heinrich, M., Scotti, F., Fitzgerald, M., Kum, K.Y. and Lobel, K. 2019. Unblocking high-value botanical value chains: Is there a role for blockchain systems? Frontiers in Pharmacology. 10 396. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.00396

Complexity in Chinese herbal medicine supply chains
Booker, A., Fitzgerald, M., Heinrich, P.M. and Scheid, V. 2018. Complexity in Chinese herbal medicine supply chains. 66th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) jointly with the 11th Shanghai TCM conference. Shanghai, PRC 26 - 29 Aug 2018

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/w6281/emergent-quality-issues-in-the-supply-of-chinese-medicinal-plants-a-mixed-methods-investigation-of-their-contemporary-occurrence-and-historical-persistence


Share this

Usage statistics

55 total views
14 total downloads
These values cover views and downloads from WestminsterResearch and are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created.