Herein, we describe a rapid, sensitive, and nondestructive method—extractive nanoelectrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (EnESI-MS)—for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) authentication. The mass-spectral fingerprints of volatile compounds released from various TCMs can be rapidly acquired using EnESI-MS without sample pretreatment. EnESI-MS was applied to successfully differentiate between two commonly used medicinal herbs, Schisandra Chinensis and Schisandra sphenanthera, which are morphologically similar but exhibit different therapeutic effects. Specific volatile compounds of each herb in a ten-component Chinese herbal product, Jia Wei Xiao Yao San, were also identified, and the method was applied to discriminate between the commercial product and a substandard version.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.