Which Chinese Herbal Medicines are Safe?

A patient-friendly article from Treasure of the East

Walk into any natural foods store, and you'll find an assortment of herbal remedies for seasonal wellness, digestive health and more. These include Chinese herb-derived products that are considered safe, convenient and inexpensive choices for occasional use.

While many reputable companies do check off all the safety boxes (FDA-approved, GMP certified, etc.), some brands found on store shelves or online can raise an eyebrow. Many packaged powders, pills and liquids for example...

  • Do not list ingredients, or adhere to proper labeling guidelines
  • Make unwarranted health claims (“cures cerebral palsy,” for example)
  • Do not conform to the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA)
  • Do not follow statutory provisions mandated by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)

These questionable imports aside, you can still find safe over-the-counter brands of Chinese herbal medicine.

What About Herbs Prescribed by My TCM Practitioner?

Like prescription medications, professional-grade Chinese herbal medicines such as the Treasure of the East brand are available only through your doctor – in this case, a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac) or Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM).

TCM doctors are specially trained in Chinese differential diagnosis to determine the safest and most effective selection, combination, dosage and frequency of herbs for each patient. Treasure of the East is proud to be regarded as one of the most trusted brands among practitioners for the potency, purity and safety of our premium herbal extracts.

Why Should I Get Herbs through a TCM Practitioner?

The short answer is this: to ensure you get the right herbal medicine for you.

As mentioned, some over-the-counter herbs can provide safe relief or support general wellness goals. However, if you are seeking lasting, effective care for a health condition such as insomnia, migraines, PMS, or chronic knee pain, for example, you’ll want to consider seeing a credentialed practitioner. In doing so, you will have access to higher potency herbs as well as complementary therapies like acupuncture or cupping, plus consistent care that comes with seeing a TCM specialist.

To better understand how Chinese herbal medicines work, consider the following:

  • Chinese herbs are potent: they can create powerful physiological changes in the body. 
  • Chinese herbs are not used simply to treat symptoms, but to treat the underlying imbalances in the body that are causing those symptoms, too.
  • Chinese herbs are not prescribed the same way prescription medications are, because Chinese medicine understands that no two people are exactly alike.

In Chinese medicine, everyone is unique. 

To illustrate, imagine two patients are experiencing flu symptoms.

One of the patients also suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, cold hands and feet, and poor digestion. The other patient has a robust constitution but experiences frequent headaches and dizziness.

The TCM doctor treating these patients would not necessarily prescribe the same herbal formula.

Instead, these two patients would receive unique formulas to address their flu symptoms, while supporting their other, individual health patterns.

This is why new patients are often surprised to complete their course of treatment and find that – not only is their chief complaint resolved, but so are other seemingly unrelated health issues!

What Makes Treasure of the East Herbs Especially Safe and Effective?

The safety and efficacy of our herbs truly begins with where they are grown. 

While many Chinese herbal companies source their herbs from the wholesale market, Treasure of the East premium herbal extracts get their start at one of our 66 farms or through long-standing relationships with 300 Dao Di (or traditional region of origin) farms across 22 provinces.

This practice insures that our herbs develop the botanical attributes and form the chemical compounds that ultimately make them so effective. It’s one of the many traditions we honor as stewards of this medicine: by nurturing the plants in the land where they grow best, they give back to us with powerful natural healing properties.

And, when it comes to safety, Treasure of the East checks off ALL the boxes. Our herbs are:

  • FDA Registered
  • USDA compliant
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliant
  • Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliant
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher
  • Sesame-Free
  • Halal Certified

Plus, no endangered species, EVER.

We hope this article leaves you feeling better informed when it comes to the safety of Chinese herbal medicine. Please stay tuned for more patient-friendly articles from us at Treasure of the East!