The contemporary societies of the developed countries are prone to use traditional far-east medicines as remedies for all diseases. Some of them, such as obesity, might be classified as civilization diseases. Combating the problem, people try not only several miraculous diets but also herbal infusions (teas) and variety of "herbal" preparations. All these believing that such treatment is healthy and harmless as far as it is "natural". Leaving out of the way the question if herbal medicines can be taken safely without doctors' control the query arises if the common preparations are strictly natural and herbal. Here we report examples of quality studies of such medicines using both X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and liquid chromatography (LC) with various types of detection: ultraviolet (UV), coulometric electrode array (CEAD) and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS). Especially the XRPD assisted with an optical microscopy seems to be useful as a fast screening method of general sample composition of such preparations. First of all it can discriminate between capsules containing pure herbal materials and those with some chemical.
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