Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office

Identification of Tiny Seed and Fruit Types of Chinese Materia Medica


  • Traditional macroscopic identification method is a simple and easy method, which is commonly used as the first-line method for routine identification of Chinese Materia Medica (CMM). However, such method only provides rough determination of the colour and shape of the CMM, and is deficient of enough characteristics for precise identification of tiny seed and fruit types of CMM.


  • To establish a simple, easy and applicable identification method for tiny seed and fruit types CMM (5 mm or less in diameter) that cannot be effectively observed by traditional macroscopic identification method.

Methods and characteristics

  • Micro-morphology: simple, easy and economical.
  • Powder microscopy: relatively simple equipment and tools required.
  • Both methods can be directly applied to daily examination and practical need.