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'Chinese medicine plants must be authenticated'

British scientists say the massive boom in demand for traditional Chinese medicine is putting the sustainability of wild plants under pressure.

A team of botanists has created a reference book, which gives details of what the plants look like at all stages of the medicine trade and which species of a particular plant produces the active ingredients required.

The project also includes some DNA tests for plants. There are currently 600 plants, which are commonly used in medicine, but there are many more, which have yet to be studied and properly documented.