Preparation of herbal medicine: Er-xian decoction and er-xian-containing serum for in vivo and in vitro experiments

Shufen Liu, Yueli Sun, Ji Li, Jingcheng Dong, Qin Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional herbal medicine, an alternative medicine in the clinical setting, has received increased attention in recent years. Before delivery to the body, an additional extraction procedure is commonly required to release the active constituents from raw herbs. Water decoction is a classical extraction procedure that is still broadly used in the clinical settings. Here, we propose a detailed protocol for er-xian decoction (EXD) in order to apply herbal decoctions to experimental studies. The calculation of an animal-appropriate dose is described, as well as the four main steps of EXD: soaking, water decoction, filtration, and concentration. In addition, serum-containing EXD is introduced to rats as a means of in vitro validation. Here, rats were orally administered EXD for three days. Blood samples were then collected, inactivated, centrifuged, and filtered. The serum, diluted with the culture medium, can be utilized to treat cells or tissues in vitro. For example, EXD was applied to both in vivo and in vitro studies and demonstrated that EXD enhances osteogenesis. This protocol can be used as a reference for the preparation and application of herbal medicines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55654
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number123
StatePublished - May 31 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug-containing serum
  • Er-xian decoction
  • Herbal medicine
  • In vitro
  • In vivo
  • Integrative medicine
  • Issue 123
  • Medicine
  • Serum pharmacology
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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