2017 Volume 52 Issue 1 Pages 41-50
The author felt that the course of history for the cultivation of Angelica is very similar to that of Valerian in Japan, and therefore conducted a philological investigation regarding the history of Angelica. It is believed that the historical value of Valerian could be increased by evaluating the pharmaceutical history of Angelica. First, a search of the transition in standards and test methods of Angelica, as indicated in JP, was carried out. After that, research on the origin of the drug (area of production), which is considered important in the evaluation of quality, and the relation to demand as a crude drug were considered. As the result, it was found that the origin and cultivar of Angelica, as the standard product of JP, were revised during the distribution of Angelica in Japan' s crude drug market. This was also influenced by a change in circumstances resulting from the popularity of Chinese medicine. The scope of Angelica plant origin was expanded when JP IX (1976) was revised. However, the properties of crude drugs, including appearance, internal geometry, and contents such as ash, acid-insoluble ash, and mare ethanol extract of Angelica, were the standard for Yamato Angelica, the same as before. This data remains to be valid, and is exists in the current volume, JP XVII (2016). It is possible to adjust the contents of ash, acid-insoluble ash, and mare ethanol extract by devising ways to prepare the crude drug after harvesting. However, the properties of a crude drug are a fixed standard that cannot be changed by adjustment. The standards of the original Angelica plant is limited to only two species: Yamato Angelica and Hokkai Angelica, as reported in JPXIII-2 (1997). The difference in the properties of the two species as a crude drug are the appearance, such as color and shape, aromaticity and taste. There is also a notable difference in part of the internal geometry. The property standard of Angelica stated in JP is the standard for evaluating its quality. Therefore, if the properties of the crude drug Hokkai Angelica, or the differences between the two species, are presented in JP, it is believed that the quality evaluation for Angelica would be more specific. Due to the progress of plant chemistry studies in recent years, the constituents of Angelica have been identified and chemical structure determined. The active elements have also been clarified and the assay system established. The author believes that the results of these plant chemical building-block studies will be contribute to judging the quality of Angelica and providing a reliable chemical quality evaluation method.