[[abstract]]Qiang-huo is a widely used Chinese herbal drug, and is proved to have sedative, analgesic, and antiinfammatory effects. It mainly contains essential oils, organic acids, carbohydrate, and alkoloids etc.. In this research, we used the seven bioactive components- ferulic acid, beraptol, bergapten, phenethyl ferulate, notopterol, isoimperatorin and bergamottin as indexing standards to evaluate the quality of commercial crude drugs by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Moreover, the scientific significance of herbal processing were also investigated. The analytical data showed that the contents of those bioactive components in the Qiang-huo crude drugs ranging from 0.54 to 2.80 mg/g for ferulic acid, 0.06 to 0.68 mg/g for bergaptol, 0.00 to 0.57 mg/g for bergapten, 0.23 to 10.59 mg/g for phenethyl ferulate, 0.13 to 9.80 mg/g for notopterol, 0.10 to 7.84 mg/g for isoimperatorin, and 0.00 to 0.72 mg/g for bergamottin. The contents in those sample with stronger aroma, deeper color or outer-part cortex were found to be higher. After processing with various methods, Qiang-huo drug materials gave an obvious increase in extraction yield. The methods and their most suitable processing times were as follows: stir-baked to yellow- 3 minutes, baked with wine- 3 minutes, moistened wth water-10 minutes, steamed with wine-30 minutes. Among those samples, that one baking with wine and then extracting with 50% ethanol had the highest increase of 14.23% in extraction yield.
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