Root Anatomical Characters of Herbal Drug Sophora (Fabaceae) Using Resin Embedding

  •  Sophia Hong    


Sophora root has been used for many years in traditional herbal medicine both as a pain reliever and also as a treatment for cancer and thus there is a need for rapid and accurate identification of individual species. Other workers have shown that stem xylem characteristics of Sophora are informative at intraspecific levels. As stem and root woods share similar properties, we report studies based on anatomical characteristics of root specimens from Sophora to develop an identification tool for individual Sophora species. Light microscopy was employed. A resin embedding approach was chosen instead of wax embedding because herbal drug materials are very dry and difficult to section thinly. It is shown that root xylem characteristics of Sophora may be used for identification. Root anatomical characters of Sophora can be used for herbal drug identification at intra- (e.g. species) and infra (e.g. varieties)-specific levels. Quantitative data will be gathered in further studies.

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