What are Chinese herbs and how do they work?

Chinese herbs are nourishing, natural tonic roots, barks, leaves, berries and mushrooms that are used to build or strengthen, through their adaptogenic nature, the major organ systems of the body. They are often referred to as adaptogens because they increase our body-mind's ability to "adapt" to change and help us overcome daily life stress. Chinese herbs help to encourage resistance to trauma, anxiety and fatigue by activating life-force energies and allowing the body to naturally rebuild and rejuvenate itself.

To enable the release of beneficial components, all herbs must be simmered in water as a tea, infused in an alcohol menstruum or must go through a special hot water extraction process. These three methods produce either a tea, patent formula, or a powdered or liquid, ideally tailored to help nourish or activate specific bodily systems.

Are traditional Chinese herbal products effective?

With recent popularity of holistic healing, as well as studies proving its effectiveness, we also regularly remind folks that the very same formulas our products are based on have long been respected and successfully used for about 2,500 years by Taoist masters.

Traditional Chinese medicine has undergone some of the most rigorous testing and research of all alternative or complementary therapy options. There is a growing body of solid evidence that suggests Chinese herbal products are safe and effective for the treatment of many conditions. More importantly, Chinese medicine may have much to offer us in the West in terms of things we can do to prevent illness and disease, optimize our health, and enhance our wellbeing.

What is Jing, Qi, and Shen?

There are believed to be three different types of energy that complete the human body: Jing, Qi, and Shen. They are the primary foundations of the traditional Chinese herbal system and every one of our herbal products works on either one, two or all three of these elements (to varying degrees). Jing is the root of our vitality and is associated with kidney essence. Jing herbs are divided into two different categories: yin and yang. Yin herbs build and replenish depleted Jing energy and, as a result, increase sexual libido and fertility. Yang herbs invigorate Jing essence and are highly rejuvenating to the reproductive system, skeletal structure and mental functions.

Qi is the energy we use on a daily basis that is created from the food we eat and the air we breath. It is associated most to the lung and spleen/stomach organ systems.

Shen, often interpreted as "spirit", is linked to higher consciousness and awareness and resides in the heart. Tonics that focus on Shen work to build a calm, heart-centered nature and encourage a clear and peaceful state of mind.

Is it safe to take herbal products during pregnancy or fasting?

Avoid taking Chinese herbs when pregnant or undertaking a cleansing/fasting diet. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, medication, Chinese herb or other supplementation program.

Do Chinese herbs have side effects?

Most tonic herbs are safe to use on a regular basis, but each may come with their own set of mild side-effects if used inappropriately or not balanced with other herbs. Like Western medicine, Chinese herbs may sometimes have undesired side effects. Consulting with a Chinese herbal practitioner and following directions can help prevent unwanted side effects.

The herbal formulas I received have a distinctive smell and color. Is this normal?

Yes, it’s normal and expected. Natural herbs and herbal products often have a distinctive odor.

How long do I need to take the herbs?

The duration varies based on the formula and the concern. Like Western medicine, some Chinese herbal formulas can be effective after a few doses, while others are meant for long term usage. For concerns like colds, allergies and pain management, Chinese medicine can take effect within minutes. For chronic concerns like high cholesterol, blood pressure, weight management or hair growth, patience and consistency is key.

Is it safe to take several Chinese medicines at once?

Because each formula is based on a measured combination of several herbs, combining several formulas can complicate how the herbs will interact within the body. We recommend taking no more than two different formulas at a time.

What are Chinese herbal soups and what do they taste like?

Like traditional Chinese herbal products, Chinese herbal soups are natural remedies for many health conditions. Meant to tonify our immune system, Chinese herbal soups help us be less susceptible to getting sick, or less vulnerable to what causes disease in the first place.

Regarded as a major food group in Asian cultures, Chinese herbal soups brew popular Chinese herbs, like astragalus, jujube and goji berry, with chicken or pork to bring out and enhance the tonifying and nourishing aspects of the herbs.

When properly selected, the addition of herbs produce a delicious taste and texture to the soup. Unlike tonic herb combinations you may receive from your local herbalist, our herbal soup kits utilize herbs with a pleasant taste that does not adversely affect the flavor.

Are your products authentic?

root + spring products are 100% authentic and packed in Los Angeles, California. We purchase them directly from the name brand manufacturers or their exclusive U.S. distributors.