Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) is one of the oldest medicines, including various forms of herbal medicine. It works well for many diseases, and has been enjoyed for centuries throughout the world. Its increasing use in recent years is evidence of a public interest in having alternatives to conventional medicine.
There are roughly 13,000 medicinal substances used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature. Primarily plant elements, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, and extracts are by far the most common elements used, but also some minerals and animal products. A Chinese herbal formula is a carefully balanced recipe of several different herbs. Each herb has its own specific functions. An herbal formula is even tailor-made to suit a particular patient.
Chinese herbal medicines or standardized herbal formulas generally consist of extracted condensed pills called teapills, which are usually small, spherical, and black, appearing like black pearls. They are called teapills because the herbs are cooked into an herbal tea to make the pills. Honey or water pills made from ground raw herbs are also a popular format in China, and tend to be bigger and slightly to significantly softer than teapills, that have been made since ancient times. Herbal formulas may come in other forms such as dripping pills, liquids, syrups, powders, granules, instant teas, and capsules.
In China, all forms of Chinese traditional medicines of the same name have the same proportions of ingredients, and are manufactured in accordance with the PRC Pharmacopoeia's monograph on that particular formula, which is mandated by Chinese law. Each monograph details the exact herbal ingredients, usually accompanied by the specific tests that should be used for correct herb identification, such as thin layer chromatography (TLC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the percentage of each ingredient, and specific cautions and contraindications. The monograph also details the manufacturing methods that must be followed, how to process and cook the herbs, often including specific requirements for finished product testing including authenticating and assessing the potency of the formula with active ingredient markers where known, as well as testing for dissolution time and content uniformity. All factories must also test for heavy metal levels and microbials for all patent medicines they produce.
In the United States, herbal and other dietary supplements are regulated as foods or nutraceuticals rather than drugs by the FDA. Nutraceutical is defined as any substance that may be considered a food or part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. The manufacturer can say that the product addresses a nutrient deficiency, supports health, or reduces the risk of developing a health problem. Herbal medicines used in traditional Chinese medicine are marketed as dietary supplements.
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements on our website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary. We are unable to analyze your personal healthy conditions or suggest any products or herbs that diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any specific disease.