Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office

Chinese Medicines Herbarium


Chinese Medicines Herbarium

Background

Traditional Chinese medicine is a treasure of the Chinese nation, which embodies the essence of the Chinese traditional culture. As Chinese medicines constitute an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese Medicines Herbarium has been set up in the GCMTI in the Science Park with an aim to promote the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong by collecting and managing of Chinese medicines and Lingnan herbal medicines specimens, as well as providing physical specimens for comparative identification and studies.

We hope that Chinese Medicines Herbarium can support the research and testing of Chinese medicines via the collection and management of various specimens of Chinese medicines and other traditional herbs, as well as to promote public knowledge of Chinese medicines through display of specimens.

Chinese Medicines Herbarium

Functions

  • To provide authoritative specimens and to promote the research of Chinese medicines through the collection of medicinal materials specimens with their corresponding source plants specimens and microscopic slides; and
  • To give public a better understanding of Chinese medicine and to inherit culture of Chinese medicine.

Source Plants Specimen medicinal materials specimens with their corresponding microscopic slides medicinal materials specimens with their corresponding microscopic slides

Hong Kong was once a famous trade port of Agarwood, hence it is believed that Hong Kong (which means “Incense Harbour”) had derived its name from it. Agarwood, a famous and precious Chinese medicines, is the resin-containing wood of Aquilaria species (Thymelaeaceae). The trade in wild Agarwood is now controlled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Specimens of Agarwood (a courtesy of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD)) are now displayed in our Chinese Medicines Herbarium, as a remembrance of the indissoluble bonding between Agarwood and Hong Kong

Agarwood specimen displayed in Chinese Medicines Herbarium

Agarwood specimen displayed in Chinese Medicines Herbarium



Apart from Agarwood, some other wild sources of Chinese medicines have also become endangered due to destruction of their habitat or being over-exploited. Also displayed in the featured showcase are specimens donated by AFCD, including rhinoceros horns, an antelope horn and scales of pangolin to promote awareness on the protection and sustainable use of Chinese medicines resources.

Rhinoceros horn

Rhinoceros horn



Over 3 300 plants species have been found in Hong Kong with at least 16 of them being first discovered in Hong Kong and hence named after it. In the lower section of the showcase, eight watercolour paintings (drawn by a local artist) of species which were named after Hong Kong are displayed, to reflect the unique characteristics of Hong Kong.


Asarum hongkongense (left) & Aristolochia westlandii (right)

Voucher Specimens of Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards Zone

The Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) project has been carried out since 2002. Standards of over 270 CMM have been compiled so far in HKCMMS with more than 3 000 specimens collected from Hong Kong and Mainland. In this exhibition area, you can find some of the voucher specimens, such as CMM with multiple sources, CMM from different growing areas, and “Daodi medicinal materials”.

CMM with multiple sources

CMM are mostly from plants. Plants with close genetic relationship often manifest similar chemical compositions and similar clinical effects. In order to expand medicinal resources, some CMM will have more than one source from the same genus, for example, Rhei Radix et Rhizoma.

Rheum palmatum
Rheum
palmatum
Rheum tanguticum
Rheum
tanguticum
Rheum officinale
Rheum
officinale
Multiple sources of Rhei Radix et Rhizoma


CMM from different growing areas

There is a close relationship among the chemical composition, morphological features, production areas and growing environments of CMM. You may find in our herbarium, a collection of CMM (for example Panacis Quinquefolii Radix) from different growing areas.

From Ontario, Canada
From Ontario, Canada
From British Columbia, Canada
From British Columbia, Canada
From Wisconsin, USA
From Wisconsin, USA
From Jilin, China
From Jilin, China
Panacis Quinquefolii Radix from different growing areas

Daodi medicinal materials” of China

Daodi medicinal materials” are defined as the medicinal materials that are selected via long-term clinical application and are produced in specific geographic regions. They are also subjected to specific harvesting and processing methods. Compared with those of the same botanical origin produced from other regions, “Daodi medicinal materials” are traditionally and widely recognised and reputable for their outstanding quality and clinical effects. In China, “Daodi medicinal materials” are divided into categories, such as Guan, Bei, Huai, Zhe, Chuan, Xi and Guang.

Ginseng Radix (Guan medicinal materials)
Ginseng Radix
(Guan medicinal materials)
Glehniae Radix (Bei medicinal materials)
Glehniae Radix
(Bei medicinal materials)
Glycyrrhizae Uralensis Radix et Rhizoma (Xi medicinal materials)
Glycyrrhizae Uralensis Radix et Rhizoma
(Xi medicinal materials)
Daodi medicinal materials” from different categories


Lingnan Herbal Medicines Zone

Lingnan herbal medicines refer to herbal medicines which are produced in Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces etc., commonly used by Lingnan local peoples. A majority of samples displayed in this exhibition area are collected by our staff from Hong Kong's countryside after obtaining a licence from AFCD.

Medicinal herb in Hong Kong's countryside
Medicinal herb in Hong Kong's countryside
Medicinal herb in Hong Kong's countryside
Medicinal herb in Hong Kong's countryside
Lingnan Herbal Medicines Zone
Lingnan Herbal Medicines Zone

Thematic Showcases

This zone shows different thematic subjects regularly. Themes on display include: ingredients of traditional herbal teas, various specifications of Angelicae Sinensis Radix and its decoction pieces, famous and precious Chinese medicines, easily confused Chinese medicines and Western herbal medicines.
Ingredients of traditional herbal teas
Ingredients of traditional herbal teas
Various specifications of Angelicae Sinensis Radix and its decoction pieces
Various specifications of Angelicae Sinensis Radix
and its decoction pieces


Famous and precious Chinese medicines
Famous and precious Chinese
medicines
Easily confused Chinese medicines
Easily confused Chinese
medicines
Western herbal medicines
Western herbal
medicines