Where to Buy Chinese Herbs Safely

Chinese herbs play a vital role in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). With TCM's increasing popularity, it's crucial for consumers and practitioners alike to buy genuine Chinese herbs from trustworthy sellers. At Treasure of the East, we're excited and proud to share our expertise with you so that you can feel confident about purchasing Chinese herbs that are safe, gentle, and effective.

Where to buy Chinese herbs

If you are a consumer looking to buy Chinese herbs, options include reputable online retailers, traditional Chinese medicine shops, natural foods stores, and through acupuncturists or TCM practitioners. If you are a practitioner, you can buy Chinese herbs through manufacturers or distributors of Chinese herbs, such as Treasure of the East, typically at wholesale prices.

Where to buy Chinese herbs

As a leading supplier and exclusive US distributor of Tianjiang full-spectrum herbal granules, Treasure of the East sells herbs to practitioners through our website. You can register for a professional wholesale account here.

Understanding the Basics of Chinese Herbs

China, with its rich history of herb cultivation, is the primary source of Chinese herbs. Around 600 herbs are commonly used today. Herbs are categorized based on taste, temperature, and therapeutic action. Some examples include:

  • Heat-clearing herbs: Herbs like honeysuckle and chrysanthemum are used to address high fevers, irritability, and other signs of heat.
  • Tonifying herbs: Ginseng, astragalus, and Chinese yam are among herbs used to help strengthen the body, prevent diseases, and promote overall health.
  • Eliminating dampness herbs: Poria, lotus seed, barley, and coix seed are used to remove excess dampness in the body.
  • Cooling herbs: Peppermint, dandelion, and rhubarb are used to cool down the body and promote detoxification.

Did you know? Individual Chinese herbs are rarely used alone; instead, they are combined with other herbs to create a formula. These formulas, such as Xiao Yao San, help the body achieve balance gently and naturally.

The role of Chinese herbs in traditional Chinese medicine

Chinese herbs, along with therapies such as acupuncture, tui na (massage), and cupping, have been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. The principles of yin and yang, along with the concept of qi, form the foundation for understanding the effects of these herbs.

Since TCM sees illness as an energy imbalance in the body, Chinese herbs can help restore this balance. Herbs can tonify deficiencies, clear excesses, promote circulation, and regulate Qi flow.

yin yang

Those looking to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) like Chinese herbal medicine can rest assured that TCM is a safe, natural, and effective medicine that has stood the test of time. At Treasure of the East, we always recommend consulting with a qualified TCM practitioner for guidance when using Chinese herbs and to consider the benefits of western medicine for integrative care.

What to Look For: Authenticity, Processing, and Testing

Now that we've covered the basics of Chinese herbs, let's talk about what to look for when purchasing them.

Whether you're a consumer or a practitioner, you can evaluate the quality and safety of Chinese herbs by asking the following questions:

1. Are the herbs sourced responsibly and ethically?

Check where the herbs are sourced from and if they're harvested in a way that minimizes damage to the environment. The supplier should follow fair trade practices, respecting the rights and welfare of local growers and workers.

As a mother-daughter and AAPI-owned company with combined degrees in sustainable manufacturing and TCM, Treasure of the East is especially committed to sustainable farming practices.

Geo-authentic farming, wild harvesting, and local processing are just some of the core sustainable and ethical sourcing practices that Tianjiang uses to grow and cultivate our herbs.

Additionally, almost all (95%) of Treasure of the East raw herbs are grown in their geo-authentic regions of traditional origin (Dao Di). To learn more, we invite you to take a video tour of Tianjiang's Dao Di farms.

Ethical sourcing

2. How are the herbs processed?

The processing techniques used can significantly impact the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbs. Ask about the preparation and storage processes. Avoid herbs exposed to chemicals or contaminated during processing.

Traditional processing methods (known as Pao Zhi) are an essential part of Tianjiang's production process. These methods, such as soaking, steaming, dry-frying, and fermenting, are based on a combination of traditional knowledge, extensive chemical research, and the standards of the Chinese Pharmacopeia.

3. Have the herbs been tested for contaminants?

Chinese herbs should be tested for potential contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, mold, and harmful bacteria. Ask for lab testing reports or Certificates of Analysis (COAs) that assure the absence of these harmful substances in the herbs.

At Treasure of the East, we follow a holistic, six-step process to ensure the freshest and cleanest herbs possible.

Why traceability matters

Another way herbal companies can demonstrate safety is through a traceability program.


Traceability is a system that allows a user to track a product at every step of the way, from seed to shelf. Traceability in Chinese herbs ensures the safety and quality of herbal products, protects the health and well-being of the consumer, and meets regulatory standards.

At Treasure of the East, our extensive tracking and traceability system consists of cultivation, production, and commercial components.

Is there a certification to look for when buying Chinese herbs?

The standard certification that you should consider when buying Chinese herbs is known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification.

The Importance of GMP Certification

GMP certification ensures that herbal products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. These standards cover all aspects of production, from the raw materials, premises, and equipment to the training and personal hygiene of staff. When you buy a GMP-certified product, it is likely to be safe, reliable, and of high quality.

Treasure of the East's certifications include:

  • cGMP Certified: Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, enforced by the FDA
  • ISO Certified: International Organization for Standardization certification is an independent, international standard-setting body that ensures products meet the specific standards for safety, quality, and efficiency.
  • FDA & UDSA Registered
  • GAP: Good Agricultural Practice

In addition to our certifications, we are:

  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher
  • Halal Certified

Putting it all together: safety, quality, and authenticity

Knowing where to buy Chinese herbs comes down to a few important questions. Most importantly:

  • Look for suppliers that are willing and able to share detailed information about the sourcing, processing, and testing of their herbs.
  • Choose reputable brands that follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and use third-party testing for purity and potency.

By purchasing from reputable suppliers, you'll be supporting the preservation of traditional herbal knowledge while contributing to the livelihood of farmers.

Additional TCM Resources

Here are a few more resources on the regulation of traditional Chinese medicine practices:

  • The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM) accredits schools that teach acupuncture and TCM.
  • The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides certification for TCM practitioners.
  • The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) is a division of the FDA that regulates dietary supplements, including Chinese herbs.
Practitioners, did you know...? Treasure of the East’s full-spectrum extracts contain the same active chemical constituents and ratios as raw herbs! Register for a professional account today, or read on to discover all the benefits of including full-spectrum granules in your herbal pharmacy.