Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3778

Full Length Research Paper

Fungal risk in commonly used traditional Chinese patent medicines

Amanda-Juan Chen, Dan Tang, Hong-Ling Li and Wei-Wei Gao*
Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, P. R. China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 November 2011
  •  Published: 16 March 2012


Fungal contamination of 27 commonly used Traditional Chinese Patent Medicines (TCPM) was investigated. Six (6) forms of prepared medicines including watered pills, honeyed pills, condensed pills, tablets, capsules and granules were chosen for fungal observation. Three (3) medicines, namely Trollius chinensis bunge capsules (TCBC), Yinqiao Jiedu watered pills (YJWP) and Fufang Danshen tablets (FDT) were contaminated, the mean CFU/g was 12, 12 and 0.7, respectively. According to morphology, as well as molecular methods, obtained fungal species were identified as belonging to the genera of AspergillusEurotiumMucor,Paecilomyces and Penicillium. The genus Aspergillus was predominant, consisting of 3 species isolated namely, Aspergillus foetidusAspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. Raw herbal materials especially fermented materials were supposed to be the main source of fungal contamination. To insure the medicinal safety, standard operation such as pure inoculation should be applied in fermentation. The finding of this study will help to provide necessary information for the safety assessment as well as quality improvement of TCPM.


Key words: Aspergillus, fermented material, fungal contamination, Penicillium, traditional Chinese patent medicines (TCPM).