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Herbal Library

We have at our corporate headquarters, library holdings of more than 70 Chinese journal titles in subjects related to traditional properties and uses of Chinese herbs, as well as modern chemical, pharmacological and clinical investigations.  This is the single largest such collection outside of China giving us a distinct advantage when formulating and developing natural products.

FAQ

bulletWhat Are Dietary Supplements? Top

True dietary supplements should supplement your diet and supply your body with nutrients that it lacks. They include vitamins and minerals, as well as certain herbs and foods that have a long and safe history of use as tonics (e.g., lycium fruit, schisandra berry, astragalus root, cured fo-ti root, Jobís tear, Cherokee rose hip, etc.).

In contrast, although some herbal medicines are also legally classified and sold as dietary supplements in the United States, they are not really true dietary supplements. Rather, they are medicines used for specific disease indications and are not meant for use on a long-term basis (e.g., mahuang, goldenseal, St. Johnís wort, zhishi, club moss, feverfew, etc.). Some of these "supplements" actually contain potentially very harmful chemicals such as ephedrine, synephrine, and N-methyltyramine that are closely related to amphetamines.

Here is what Dr. Leung has to say about the

manufacture of high-quality herbal products: Top

To produce a high-quality herbal product, besides a clean plant operating under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), the following 2 basic requirements MUST BE met:

  1. The formula must be logical, formulated by someone who understands the traditional properties and uses of herbs, or it can be a classic formula.
  2. The correct and good-quality ingredients (herbs and herbal extracts) must be used to manufacture the product. One without the other would yield at best a mediocre product.

Herbs are not pure chemicals.

If you donít know how to identify and extract them, you produce extracts/ingredients that are dubious or of inferior quality. Consequently, if you take a formula consisting of 10 herbal extracts to 3 different manufacturers, you will end up with 3 different products.

The reason is the following. Despite industryís feverish efforts to set standards for herbs and herbal extracts, only a handful out of hundreds of regularly used herbs have some sort of standards. These include extracts of ginkgo biloba (24% flavonoids/6% terpenoids), kava kava, St. Johnís wort, milk thistle, saw palmetto, senna, and cascara. If all 10 herbs happen to be among those with uniform meaningful standards, there is a good chance that the finished products from the 3 manufacturers will be close in quality, provided all 3 manufacturers are ethical and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

This means that they actually purchase their extracts from ethical and reliable suppliers and analyze the individual ingredients for their chemical profile before incorporating them into the formula.

Unfortunately, most herbs, especially Chinese tonics (e.g., astragalus root, schisandra berry, lycium fruit, Asian ginseng, American ginseng, and Cherokee rosehip, etc.) cannot be readily analyzed chemically, because they all contain multiple active components about which we still know little. The so-called standardized extracts of these herbs specify only a fraction of the components in them, some of which are not even active. Hence, these commercial "standardized" extracts often do not even contain the important active beneficial components from the original herbs!

The only way to avoid these dubious ingredients is to have complete control of the ingredient-manufacture process, from raw herbs to finished extracts. And that is how I obtain the herbal ingredients used in my products.

When I formulate a product, I use herbs that have a long history of safe use as supplements to peopleís regular diet. Herbs that meet my criteria include most Chinese tonics such as cured fo-ti root, lycium fruit, Cherokee rosehip (known in Chinese as jinyingzi), astragalus root, schisandra berry, eleuthero root/rhizome (ciwujia), American ginseng, Asian ginseng, and cassia bark (Chinese cinnamon), etc.

 For centuries, the Chinese people have been using these beneficially in their cooking, as foods, in soup and wine, and as medicines. Modern science has demonstrated that most of these tonic herbs contain various groups of compounds (flavonoids, lignans, triterpene glycosides, phenylpropanoids, sterol glycosides, polysaccharides, etc.) that exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities. These include: immunoregulatory, hypotensive, hypertensive, antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycaemic, anti-mutagenic, antiviral, anti-stress, anti-fatigue, healing, hypolipemic, anti-atherosclerotic, and others.

When used properly, these tonic herbs help normalize body functions and produce no known toxic side effects other than an occasional allergic reaction that can also result from the use of any other foods.

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