A silica-based monolithic capillary column was prepared via a sol-gel process. The continuous skeleton and large through-pore structure were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The native silica monolith has been successfully employed in the electrochromatographic separation of beta-blockers and alkaloids extracted from traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs). Column efficiencies greater than 250 000 plates/m for capillary electrochromatography (CEC) separation of basic compounds were obtained. It was observed that retention of basic pharmaceuticals on the silica monolith was mainly contributed by a cation-exchange mechanism. Other retention mechanisms including reversed-phase and normal-phase mechanisms and electrophoresis of basic compounds also played a role in separation. A comparison of the differences between CEC and capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) separation was also discussed.