Different chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques commonly used in the instrumental inspection of herbal medicines (HM) are first conprehensively reviewed. Chemical fingerprints obtained by chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques, especially by hyphenated chromatographies, are strongly recommended for the purposes of quality control of herbal medicines, since they might represent appropriately the "chemical integrities" of the herbal medicines and therefore be used for authentification and identification of the herbal products. Based on the conception of phytoequivalence, the chromatographic fingerprints of herbal medicines could be utilized for addressing the problem of quality control of herbal medicines. Several novel chemometric methods for evaluating the fingerprints of herbal products, such as the method based on information theory, similarity estimation, chemical pattern recognition, spectral correlative chromatogram (SCC), multivariate resolution, etc. are discussed in detail with examples, which showed that the combination of chromatographic fingerprints of herbal medicines and the chemometric evaluation might be a powerful tool for the quality control of herbal products.
- Herbal Medicines,
- Quality Control,
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