Chinese Herbal Remedies

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Chinese Herbal Remediesby Andrew Routledgeon.Chinese Herbal RemediesMost people around the world have heard about the medicinal benefits of Chinese herbal remedies. These time tested traditional potions have maintained the one of the worlds largest and indeed greatest cultures for thousands of years. Today, few would dispute the benefits of herbal medicines in the hands of experienced and reputable practitioners. In the […]




traditional-chinese-898567_1920Add to Technorati FavoritesMost people around the world have heard about the medicinal benefits of Chinese herbal remedies. These time tested traditional potions have maintained the one of the worlds largest and indeed greatest cultures for thousands of years. Today, few would dispute the benefits of herbal medicines in the hands of experienced and reputable practitioners.

In the advent of the computer age Chinese traditional medicine has gained a great deal of exposure through the Internet. Now there are a great many companies which sell herbal medicines over the Internet. Herbs, like all other organic substances are susceptible to all sorts of microbial infestations which can greatly compromise the quality of the plant and hence the product which you buy. Herbs infested with moulds, viruses or any of the many types of bacteria can loose most if not all of their beneficial medicinal properties and can even become dangerous to consume.

Herbs which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, like any other other cash crop are grown in fields or collected from the wild, they are then harvested, graded,cut to size,dehydrated, checked by quality control (hopefully), packed, stored in warehouses and finally shipped to the store where you buy them or sent directly to you if you buy via direct marketing routes. As you can see, plants used in traditional medicine go through many handling processes before they become the final product which you but. Every time the plant is handled, something of it’s original integrity and quality is lost. This is inevitable in any industry and each stage presents opportunities for cross contamination if the product is handled improperly. As with any product good manufacturing procedures (GMP) are an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, not all people who market traditional Chinese herbs are reputable manufacturers and great care must be taken in choosing which company to buy from.

Usually, the more high tech the facilities of a factory are, the higher product standards will be. Today, a number of Chinese companies are offering medicinal herbs in freeze dried form The advantages of freeze drying are that the raw materials used have to be of a high standard to ensure a stable end product. Secondly, freeze drying is a great way of preserving as many of the original qualities of the plant as possible. Thirdly, because freeze drying is a very quick process, there is no tome for bacterial or mould spores to form and oxidization is prevented. This means that from a food hygiene standpoint you are safeguarded against such micro organisms forming during usage. Fourthly, Freeze dried products deteriorate at a much slower rate than with other methods that are in use, among other things this means that the anti oxidizing properties of the plant(s) are preserved.

Freeze drying also permits the manufacturer to be very inventive during the manufacturing process. He can make blends that are intended to ensure that you the customer get a guaranteed strength of active ingredient and he can also blend different types of herbs to formulate products to make ready to use infusions for specific medical conditions. In addition, ingredients which make a product more palatable can also be added.

Some of these companies claim to have hundreds of blends in their product range which cover a great many medical requirements. If you intend to use traditional Chinese medicine I would strongly recommend that you investigate the possibilities offered by freeze dried technology.


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Andy has many years of experience in food preparation, Food Hygiene, Catering and staff Training

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  1. Author

    Andrew RoutledgeJune 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    For sure, but you have to make sure that the quality ofthe plant you are getting is 100% as it should be. Moldy or fusty dried plants do loose all their usefulness and may even cause harm. The key here is to use a supplier who would not dare to risk his reputation through the sale of sub grade inventory. Also, remember that traditional Chinese herbal medicine developed on the plants and animal species that were available in China and other places in the far east. The plant species that is now available from the Amazonian rain forest, for example, has increased the choice of medicinal plant and non plant medicinal resources phoenomenally. To adhere to strict Chinese medicine when we now have the new disciplines based upon older Chinese knowledge that has now been combined with the “newer” resources from the “New World” range of potent medicinal plants doesn’t really make too much sense in my eyes. But as I said I have nothing against Chinese traditional herbal medicine at all, only in the lack of supervision and quality control of the millions of outlets that sell Chinese remedies.

  2. Author

    Andrew RoutledgeDecember 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Very true. The advantage to plant remedies is that they come from the integral word, namely nature, and therefore they act integrally with our bodies, something that man made chemical cocktails never can.

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