Anything that is hard to get or expensive is likely to be counterfeited, and herbal or alternative therapies are not exempt.
A material that is likely to be counterfeited:
(2) hard to find, in limited supply
(3) collection or trade illegal or restricted (like rhinoceros horn)
Without quantitative methods it may be difficult to detect:
(1) substitution of a plant from one region for a plant from another region
Detection may be achieved with a number of methods such as:
(1) DNA microarrays, which allows identification of the fingerprint or barcode of a plant
(2) NMR spectroscopy
(3) isotope analysis may help to identify region of origin
A person who engages in one kind of fraud may engage in others, such as product adulteration.
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Specialty: Pharmacology, clinical