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:
- The formula must be logical, formulated by
someone who understands the traditional properties and uses of
herbs, or it can be a classic formula.
- 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
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
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.