Aconitum and its products have been used in Asia for centuries to treat various ailments, including arthritis, gout, cancer, and inflammation. In general, their preparations and dispensing have been restricted to qualified folk medicine healers due to their low safety index and reported toxicity. In the past few decades, official guidelines have been introduced in Asian pharmacopeias to control Aconitum herbal products. However, these guidelines were based on primitive analytical techniques for the determination of the whole Aconitum alkaloids and were unable to distinguish between toxic and nontoxic components. Recent advances in analytical techniques, especially high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electrophoresis coupled with highly sensitive detectors, allowed rapid and accurate determination of Aconitum secondary metabolites. Reports focusing on liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of Aconitum and its herbal products are discussed in the current review. This review can be used by the health regulatory authorities for updating pharmacopeial guidelines of Aconitum and its herbal products. © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

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