F.A.Q

Your questions, answered.

What are traditional chinese medicine (TCM) formulas?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulas are recipes or prescriptions in China, called “Fang Ji” in Chinese, these formulas have been around for a few thousand years — the earliest formulas date back to the third century Qin and Han Dynasties. Throughout the centuries, TCM formulas have gone through significant changes, developing into sophisticated tools for treating illness and well-being in China. TCM formulas must follow the principles “Li Fa Fang Ya” which is mastering theory “Li,” strategy “Fa,” formula “Fang,” and substance “Yao” to maximize the benefit of a treatment and minimize its side effects of a disorder. In China, TCM doctors must graduate from TCM medical school (5,900 hours of study), complete three years of an internship, and be licensed in order to prescribe formulas.

How do you ensure the safety and quality of your products?

All Essentia Herb products are made with the highest grade and most potent formulas available. We ensure quality control through safe and effective methods prior to distribution and have methods in place to ensure all customers will receive the best grade of herbs available. All of our herbal powers are tested for heavy metal and parasites through an FDA-certified facility.

How do I know which formula will work best for me?

We offer in-depth explanations of each product on this website, so please refer to each formula for more information. If you’d like more personalized information, you can set up a one-on-one herbal consultation for all Essentia Herb products or visit your local Traditional Chinese herbal practitioner. A thorough assessment of your condition will help us determine which formula to recommend. Please direct questions to us here.

How do I know what conditions each product treats?

By law, we cannot make claims about our products. Please consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner for more information on the type of formula you are seeking. There are many books about Chinese medicine in libraries and health foods stores that may have the information you need. We do our best to outline all of the benefits of our products in each product description, so you can choose the most appropriate formula.

Can children take your herbal products?

Children and young adults can safely take many of our products. We always advise you to consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner before giving our products to a child.

What are Chinese herbal formulas?

Over the past 3,000 years, an incredibly rich and powerful system of medicine has been created through Chinese herbal medicine in China. During this time, classical herbal formulas have been identified and developed to be effective for many health concerns. Because individual substances are rarely prescribed in Traditional Chinese Medicine, at Essentia Herbs, we have carefully created balanced formulas of several different herbs to specifically target an entire health condition. While each herb is chosen for its own specific functions, the combination of substances in a formula creates a new therapeutic agent that much more effectively and completely addresses a condition than a single substance.

Why do you have formulas vs. a single herb?

In TCM, individual substances are rarely prescribed alone, because a combination of substances in the formula creates a new therapeutic agent that can improve conditions much more effectively than a single substance. Our formulas consist of principal herbs, assisting herbs, directional herbs, and harmony herbs which can provide best results. Therefore, the formulas are more balanced and harmonize with your whole body.

Can I take these herbs while pregnant?

Please consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplement.

Can I take these herbs with my prescription medications?

Please consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplement.

Can I take these herbs while nursing?

Please consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplement.

How long do I need to take these herbs?

Please see the suggestion under each product.

Do Chinese herbs work quickly?

Depends on your conditions. However, most of the products can work quickly. You must take the recommended dosage and stay consistent with your doses under professional direction.

Is it safe to take several Chinese herbs together at once?

Some formulas can enhance each other, but others can cancel the effectiveness of one another. Please consult with your healthcare professional.

What are Traditional Chinese Medicine formula strategies?

There are eight methods of treatment that have been applied for the last 2,000 years in China, by physician Cheng Zhong-Ling. These eight methods are Sweating (Han Fa), Vomiting (Tu Fa), Draining Downward (Xia Fa), Harmonizing (He Fa), Warming (Wen Fa), Clearing (Qing Fa), Reducing (Xiao Fa) and Tonifying (Bu Fa).

What is classification of Traditional Chinese Medicine formula?

In China, there are 10 classifications of basic formulas:

  1. Disseminate (xuan) formula to eliminate the clogging
  2. Unblock (tong) formula to eliminate the stagnation
  3. Tonify (bu) formula to eliminate the weakness
  4. Drain (xie) formula to eliminate the obstruction
  5. Weight down formula to eliminate the (zhong) anxiety
  6. Clear (qing) formula to eliminate the excess
  7. Bind (se) formula to eliminate the abandoned disorders
  8. Dry (zao) formula to eliminate the dampness
  9. Moisten (shi) formula to eliminate the dryness
  10. Lubricate (hua) formula to eliminate the sticky retention in the body

For example, for a person with constipation, we use a drain (xie) type of formula. For someone who suffers with a sore throat, we use a clear (qing) type of formula. to clear For someone with dampness (water retention), we use a dry (zao) type formula. And for people with dry skin or dry eyes, we use a moisten type formula.

What is the composition of Traditional Chinese Medicine formula?

In China, the art of constructing an effective formula involves more than just putting a few substances together. We need an organizing principle to guide the construction so that the ingredients are combined for the most optimal outcome. The combination of the substances in the formula creates a new therapeutic agent that can address conditions much more effectively than a single substance. In the formula, the substances interact with each other, so we must understand the actions and characteristics of each individual substance.

The orderly arrangement of ingredients in the formula is called a hierarchy. The four ranks of the ingredients in the hierarchy of a formula are Chief (jun), Deputy (chen), Assistant (zuo), and Envoy (shi).

  • Chief (also know as king or ruler) is the substance directed against the disease. This substance is absolutely indispensable to the formula. In each formula, there could be one or two chief substances.
  • Deputy (also know as minister or associate) refers to two different functions. The first one is to aid the chief substance in treating disease; the second is to serve as the main substance directed against a disease.
  • Assistant (also know as adjutant) refers to three functions. The first is to reinforce the effect of the chief substance, the second is to moderate or eliminate the toxicity of the chief or deputy substance, and the third is to have an opposite effect of chief substance.
  • Envoy (also know as messenger) refers to two different functions. The first is to focus the action of the formula on certain meridians or areas of the body. The second is to harmonize and integrate the actions of the other substances.

Many, but not all, formulas contain the full hierarchy. Some of the formulas only contain the Chief and Deputy because there is no need to have Assistant and Envoy if the Chief and Deputy substances are not toxic.

For example, in the formula Ma Huang Tang, which combines four substances, Chief is Ma Huang, one Deputy is Gui Zhi, the other Deputy is Xing Ren, and the Envoy is Zhi Gan Cao. Ma Huang Tang is used for chills, fever, an absence of sweating, head and body aches, wheezing, tight pulse, and a thin, white tongue coating. The Chief ingredient is Ma Huang, a particularly warm and strong diaphoretic that disseminates the lung Qi and treats wheezing, to directly attack the disorder. The two Deputy ingredients are Gui Zhi and Xing Ren. Gui Zhi releases the exterior and warms and facilitates the flow of Qi in the meridian, especially in the muscle layer to assist the Chief ingredient to release the exterior. Xing Ren also assists the Chief herb in treating other symptoms like wheezing by unblocking the flow of lung Qi, both to help the Chief herb to expel the pathogenic influences. Zhi Gan Cao harmonizes the action of all above herbs. This disorder affects the lungs and outer layer of the body, so both Chief herbs enter the lungs and exterior, there is no need in this formula to have an Envoy guide herb for the actions of the Chief herbs.

There are many formulas only have Chief herbs or a Chief herb with Deputy herb — for example, Er Zhi Wan, Er Miao San, (“Er” means two), San Sheng San, San Ren Tang (“San” means three).

What is the dosage of individual ingredients in the formula?

In China, the dosage of each ingredient in the formula also plays a role in effectiveness. Generally, the Chief herb ingredient usually has the largest dosage. The proportion of the ingredient in the formula is also very important. In a Dang Gui Bu Xue formula, this formula is use for tonifying the Qi and generating the blood for treating blood deficiency caused by injury to the source of the Qi (may be used in treating bio-medically-defined disorders such as anemia, functional uterine bleeding, thrombocytopenic purpura and leukopenia. In the formula there are only have two herbs — Huang Qi and Dang Gui wei. In order to be effective, Huang Qi must six times the dosage of Dang Gui.

What types of formulas do you offer?

Many different types of herbal medicine formulas have been administered through the centuries in China: Decoction (tang ji), Powders (san ji), Pills (wan ji), Sofe extracts (gao ji), Special pills (dan ji), Medicinal Wins (jiu ji), Lozenges (ding ji), and Tablets (pian ji).

Modern technology has influenced Traditional Chinese Medicine — formulas are made by extracting the active ingredients with modern methods and preparing a sterile solution for injection. When injected subcutaneously (intramuscularly and intravenously), the active ingredients bypass the digestive system and deliver faster results. This method is commonly used in hospitals in China and other Asian countries. Another modern formulation is granules (chong fu ji), which are concentrated powders.