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Introduction of He Shou Wu - part 3

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How to identify Polygonum multiflorum

Character identification

Roots fusiform or clump-shaped, generally slightly curved. Length 5-15cm, diameter 4-10cm. The surface is reddish-brown or reddish-brown, uneven, with irregular longitudinal grooves and dense wrinkles, and has transversely long lenticels and fine root scars.

Hard quality, not easy to break. The cut surface is light yellowish-brown or light reddish-brown, powdery, and the skin has round shaped vascular bundles arranged in a ring, forming a brocade pattern. The central wood is larger, and some are wood hearts. The gas is slightly bitter and the taste is slightly bitter and astringent. Those with body weight, firm quality and powdery feet are preferred.

Microscopic identificationPolygonum Multiflorum Herb wholesale - OkayHerb

Transverse section of tuberous root: The cork layer is a series of cells, filled with reddish-brown substances, and lenticels can be seen. The phloem is wider, and there are scattered heteromorphic vascular bundles, that is, compound vascular bundles, and the other is a single vascular bundle, both of which are external tough. The cambium is annular, with few xylem vessels, surrounded by tracheids and a few wood fibers. The center of the tuber is the primary xylem. Parenchyma cells contain starch grains and calcium oxalate clusters.

Powder characteristics


There are many starch granules, single granules are spherical, helmet-shaped or triangular-shaped, with a diameter of 4-50 μm. The diameter of the complex particles is 6-51μm, and it is composed of 2-9 particles. 

There are many calcium oxalate cluster crystals with a diameter of about 80 μm. Occasionally, the cluster crystals are combined with larger quasi-square crystals. 

The diameter of ducts with bordered pits is 17-178μm; there are also fine reticulated ducts.

Physical and chemical identification

1. Take about 0.1g of this product powder, add 10ml of sodium hydroxide solution (1-10), boil for 3 minutes, and filter after cooling. Take the filtrate, add hydrochloric acid to make it acidic, add an equal amount of ether, shake, and the ether layer should be yellow. Take 4 ml of ether layer, add 2 ml of ammonia test solution, shake, and the ammonia liquid layer turns red. (Check Anthraquinone Compounds)

2. Take about 0.2g of this product powder, add 5ml of ethanol, boil it in a water bath for 3 minutes, shake it continuously, filter it while it is still hot, and let it cool. Take 2 drops of the filtrate, put it in an evaporating dish and evaporate to dryness, add 1 drop of chloroform saturated solution of antimony trichloride while it is still hot, and it will be purple-red. (check sterols)

3. Thin-layer chromatography: take 5g of raw Polygonum multiflorum powder (40 mesh), extract with 95% ethanol under reflux, recover the ethanol, and make a 1.5:1 extract for sampling. In addition, emodin and emodin methyl ether were used as reference substances. Spot on the silica gel G-CMC (silica G300 mesh or more) plate respectively, and develop with chloroform-methanol (80:20) with a spread distance of 10 cm. Take it out to dry, under visible light, in the chromatogram of the test substance, the same color spot appears in the corresponding position of the reference substance chromatogram; under the ultraviolet light, the same fluorescent spot appears.

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