The recent news about urinary tract cancer linked to the ingestion of a Chinese herb called Mu tong should spark awareness about herbal medicine suppliers. Fortunately in the U.S. single herbs and formulas containing Mu tong or Aristolochic Acid has been banned since 2000, they cannot be imported.
But this is no excuse for you, the consumer from doing due diligence on the supplier and manufacturer of the over the counter herbal products you find at your local health food stores.
Now more ever it’s important to have as much information as you can gather on supplement manufacturers before you ingest their products. (We offer a free report, “What you need to know before you purchase Chinese herbs”. Just sign-in on our home page, provide your email address and we’re happy to email you a copy).
Unless you’re purchasing supplements from a reputable manufacturer, whether its vitamins, Western herbal supplements, or Chinese herbs the chances of you getting mostly fillers laced with soil contaminants is pretty common. Check out consumerlab.com reports if you don’t want to take my word for it.
Regarding the Aristolochic acid in the news, this chemical is insoluble in water. Since traditional Chinese herbal preparation are cooked in water, the Chinese have avoided this toxicity issue throughout centuries of use. This is exactly the reason you should know whether the herbs you’re purchasing are cooked (boiled or decocted) in water or are they ground into raw powdered substances and put into capsules. (i.e. Herbalife has many products which are raw ground powders)
Our Chinese herb formulas are:
- Water boiled with strict temperature controls
- Cooked for precise amounts of time
- Cooked in specific amounts of water
- Raw material herbs are weighed before cooking so exact
- amount of herbs to water ratio is controlled for potency
This is not a haphazard process but one of exact quality control throughout each and every step. Our manufacturer KPC ( Kaiser Pharmaceutical Company) verifies every specie of herb used in their pharmaceutical factory. Thin layer chromatography is one such test to ensure the right specie of the plant. High performance liquid chromatography is another. Diligence is the key to exceptional products and KPC performs these and other laboratory tests on all their raw ingredients. They have been cooking and bottling Chinese herbs for over 60 years.
As a consumer you’re spending a lot of hard earned cash on your supplements not to mention the health expectation. Do your homework and know what you’re buying. A licensed or certified herbalist is the best way to make sure that the herbal medicine is appropriate for your situation and comes from a reputable source.