A novel, simple and accurate fingerprint method was developed using high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection (HPLC-DAD) for the quality control of Qianghuo, a Tibetan folk and Chinese herbal medicine used as a diaphoretic, an antifebrile and an anodyne. For the first time, the feasibility and advantages of employing chromatographic fingerprint were investigated and demonstrated for the evaluation of Qianghuo by systematically comparing chromatograms of aqueous extracts with the professional analytical software recommended by State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). Our results revealed that the chromatographic fingerprint combing similarity evaluation could efficiently identify and distinguish raw herbs of Qianghuo from different sources and different species. The effects on Notopterygium forbesii Boiss (Apiaceae) chromatographic fingerprints resulted from collecting locations, harvesting time were also examined.
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