Global standard is nothing to sniff at

Xinhua
Shanghai researchers have led the development of an international standard for isatis indigotica root or "banlangen," a traditional Chinese medicinal herb.
Xinhua

Shanghai researchers have led the development of an international standard for isatis indigotica root or “banlangen,” a traditional Chinese medicinal herb used for the prevention and treatment of colds.

The herb has a long history of use in Asian countries for removing heat and toxins, cooling the blood and clearing the throat. However, problems such as different quality requirements among different countries and regions may affect the herb’s clinical effectiveness and safety.

Formulation of the International Organization for Standardization’s measurement was led by a research team from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also involved experts from Germany, Canada, Australia, Thailand and South Korea.

The project lasted 34 months and the standard was published earlier this month. Wang Zhengtao, a member of the Chinese research team, said the standard mainly specifies the minimum technical requirements for isatis indigotica root such as heavy metals and pesticide residues as well as testing methods.

“The publication of the standard is expected to improve the international influence of isatis indigotica root and boost the trade of the herb across the world,” Wang said.

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