Journal Published Online: 01 November 2004
Volume 49, Issue 6

Characterization of Allegedly Musk-Containing Medicinal Products in Taiwan



As a highly valued ingredient of Chinese medicinal remedies, musk is used as a detoxification agent and for treating fever, inflammation and swelling, and pain. Muscone (3-methylcyclopentadecanone-1), an odoriferous secretion from the ventral glands of male musk deer, is believed to be the active ingredient. A small amount of muscopyridine is also found in the secretion from the ventral glands of male musk deer. Common counterfeit ingredients are musk xylene, musk ambrette, musk ketone, and diphenhydramine. An extraction/GC-MS protocol/data evaluation scheme was developed and applied to study allegedly musk-containing Musk-Tiger Bone Plaster preparations and musk pods (or grains) from Chinese medicine stores and an airport customs. The content of muscone in a specific sample was estimated based on the percentage of the amount recovered from the first extraction. No muscone or counterfeit ingredients were found in all musk pod (or grain) samples from the customs and in the majority of Musk-Tiger Bone Plaster preparations, while muscone (alone or with counterfeit ingredients) was found in most of the musk pod (or grain) collected from Chinese medicine stores.

Author Information

Lin, DL
Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of Justice, Taipei, Taiwan (ROC), and Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
Chang, HC
China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
Huang, SH
Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, Taipei, Taiwan
Pages: 7
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Stock #: JFS2003381
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003381