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CHINESE HERBS

Chinese herbs have been used for centuries.

There are roughly 13,000 medicinals used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature.  Plant elements and extracts are by far the most common elements used.  In the classic Handbook of Traditional Drugs from 1941, 517 drugs were listed - out of these, only 45 were animal parts, and 30 were minerals. For many plants used as medicinals, detailed instructions have been handed down not only regarding the locations and areas where they grow best, but also regarding the best timing of planting and harvesting them.

Some animal parts used as medicinals can be considered rather strange such as cows' gallstones. In general, Chinese traditional medicine emphasizes the penis of animals as therapeutic. Snake oil, which is used traditionally for joint pain as a liniment was extensively marketing in the West in the late 1800s and early 1900s and wildly claimed to be effective in treating many maladies; however, there is no clinical evidence that it is effective.

 

Chinese patent medicine  is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine. They are standardized herbal formulas. From ancient times, pills were formed by combining several herbs and other ingredients, which were dried and ground into a powder. They were then mixed with a binder and formed into pills by hand. The binder was traditionally honey. Modern teapills, however, are extracted in stainless steel extractors to create either a water decoction or water-alcohol decoction, depending on the herbs used. They are extracted at a low temperature (below 100 degrees Celsius) to preserve essential ingredients. The extracted liquid is then further condensed, and some raw herb powder from one of the herbal ingredients is mixed in to form an herbal dough. This dough is then machine cut into tiny pieces, a small amount of excipients are added for a smooth and consistent exterior, and they are spun into pills. Teapills are characteristically little round black pills.

 

Chinese Herbal Extracts

Chinese herbal extracts are herbal decoctions that have been condensed into a granular or powdered form. Herbal extracts, similar to patent medicines, are easier and more convenient for patients to take. The industry extraction standard is 5:1, meaning for every five pounds of raw materials, one pound of herbal extract is derived.

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Cheng Medical Center

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Rowland Heights, CA 91748
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