Development of an HPLC Method for the Quality Control of Chinese Herbal Medicinal Formulation: Three Yellow Cleanser (San Huang Xi Ji)

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Hanako Darby
Jose M. Prieto Garcia


The Three Yellow Cleanser (TYC) formulation (San Huang Xi Ji) is a long-established external Chinese Herbal Medicinal (CHM) formulation, for the treatment of many skin disorders. It possesses great cosmeceutical potential; however cosmetic legislation requires quality control (QC) throughout all stages of production. A single-run HPLC-UV method for the concurrent qualitative and quantitative analysis of three out of the four herbal substances (Rhubarb root, Phellodendron stem bark and Skullcap root) was achieved based on their corresponding phytomarkers Berberine, Baicalein and Emodin, respectively. Chromatographic separation was performed on a ZORBAX TC-C18(2) column (250 x 4.6 mm i.d., 5 mm) at 30°C with mobile phases 0.1% phosphoric acid in water (A) and 0.1% phosphoric acid in acetonitrile (B) in the gradient mode 0 – 3 min, 90% A; 3 – 4 min, 90 – 80% A; 4 – 9 min, 80% A; 9 – 11 min, 80 – 70% A; 11 – 31 min, 70 – 60% A,; 31 – 41 min, 60% A; 41 – 46 min, 60 – 40% A; 46 – 56 min, 40% A. Interestingly the quantitative analysis of the TYC extract compared to the four herbal extracts uncovered potential synergistic/antagonistic extraction effects.

Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, quality control, HPLC-UV, skin.

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Darby, H., & Garcia, J. M. P. (2020). Development of an HPLC Method for the Quality Control of Chinese Herbal Medicinal Formulation: Three Yellow Cleanser (San Huang Xi Ji). Asian Basic and Applied Research Journal, 2(2), 50-60. Retrieved from
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