>> Chinese Materia Medica >> Commonly used Patent Herbal Preparations >> The forms of preparation
Forms of Patent Herbal Preparations
Decoctions: They are solutions after cooking the ingredients or suspensions of the soaked ingredients. This is by for the most common form, widely used in China. It matches the principle of syndrome differentiation with modifications to meet the need of different cases. It is easy to prepare, and can be rapidly absorbed by the body, Thus expediting their effect usually. Ingredients in a formula are prepared into a decoction, in which they complement and restrict one another, to enhance the effect, harmonize the property of the ingredients and make more reasonable compatibility of the ingredients.
Pills: They are of the spherical form, made of fine powder or pulverized medical substances extracts, with sticky excipients. Pills disintegrate slowly in the stomach and intestine and release their potency. The duration of effect is long, which may reduce the toxicity or unwanted reaction of the pills. So, they are mostly used for chronic diseases, debilitated patients with a chronic disease and patients who need to regulate qi and blood. There are variety of pills made in different methods of production and excipients. 
Honeyed Pills: They are made of fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances with honey as a binder. Among them, each pill weighing more than 0.5g (or 0.5g) is the big honeyed pill, where each pill weighing less than 0.5g is the small honeyed pill. 
Water-Honeyed Pills: They are made of fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances with honey and water as binders.
Watered Pills: They are small pills made of fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances, cold boiled water (or yellow rice wine, vinegar, dilute medicinal juice, dilute syrup) as a binder.
Concentrated Pills: They are also called of “extracted medicinal pills”, made of condensed extracts or fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances with water, honey or honey and water as binders. 
Paste pills: They are made of fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances with rice flour, rice paste or flour paste as binders.
Wax pills: They are made of fine powder of pulverized medicinal substances with beeswax as a binder.

Powders: They are made of pulverized medicinal substances or extract. It is one of the oldest forms of medicinal preparation. They have a wide surface, so they can be easily dispersed with faster effect. Powders are easy to make and they are usually prescribed to patients who feel difficult to take pills, tablets and capsule. According to the medical purpose, they are classified into powders for oral administration and external application.

Soft Extracts: They are classified into two kinds: for oral administration and external application.   

Soft Extracts for Internal Use: They are prepared by decocting different medicinal substances in water reducing the strained decoction to a thick extract concentrate and adding refine honey or sugar. They act to build up health, usually given to chronic and debilitated patients.

Plasters: They include adhesive plasters and plaster medicine. (1) Adhesive plaster is a paste-like mixture which can be spread over the skin and produce topical or general effect. (2)Plaster medicine is an externally applied one prepared by slowly simmering medicinal substances in edible vegetable oil and red lead oxide or ceruse. It is on paper or cloth.

Dripping Pills: They are made of extracts of medicinal substances after purification and concentration, mixed with appropriate bases. They have high effects, favorable taste and without any irritation to the stomach and intestines. Their biological availability is high, used for emergency cases and ear, nose, mouth problems.

Granules: They are made of extracts, fine powder of pulverized medicinal substance and excipients. They are divided into three types: soluble granules, suspended granules and effervescent granules, easy to take orally with fast potency.

Tablet: They are made of extracts and fine power of pulverized medicinal substance, with some excipients. They include extract tablets, semi-extract tablets and powered tablets. Furthermore, They can be classified into the following forms:

Buccal Tablets: They are tablets, containing medicine, which is dissolved slowly in the mouth.

Chewable Tablets: They are normally to be chewed and sucked before swallowing.

Effervescent Tablets: They contain sodium bicarbonate and organic acid, which give off gas bubbles when put in water.

Vaginal Tablets and Vaginal Effervescent Tablets: They are those put in the vagina.

Enteric-coated Tablet: They are those with enteric coating.

Medicated-Wine: It is a supernatant liquid preparation extracted with distillate spirit, used for  dispelling wind and removing meridian obstruction retaining, tendons and activating blood circulation or used in tonics. External application promotes blood circulation to kill pain and to subside swelling.

Ointments: They are semi-solid preparations for external application to the body, usually containing extracts or fine powers of medicinal substances and a base. The base is classified into three types: oily base, water-soluable base and emulsify on base. Ointments with emulsify on base are usually known as emulsion, which is further classified into oil-in-water emulsion and water-in-oil emulsion.  Ointments are mainly for the topical application, acting to counteract infection, disinfect, relieve itching, and kill pain.

Injections: They are sterile made by extracted the active ingredients and prepared a sterile solution and lacteous solution and sterile powder ready for clinical use. They are classified into injection  liquid, sterilize powder and concentrated injection liquid.

Liquids Injection: They are sterile solutions or emulsions, injected intramuscularly or intravenously, and they are used for intravenous drip.

Sterilized injection powers: They are sterilized powers or lumps, prepared ready for clinical use. They are mixed with appropriate solvents and injected or they are used for intravenous drip. These sterile powers are prepared with the freeze-drying or spray-drying method, and the sterile lumps are prepared with the freeze-drying method.

Concentrated Injection Solutions: They are the concentrated sterile solutions diluted for intravenous drip. With injection the delivery of the active ingredients is precise, fast and unaffected by any interaction with the digestive system or foods. They are used for emergency and critical conditions with better effects.




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