The other day I received a message from a licensed acupuncturist who said your product Sleepeace worked beautifully for my customers and may I ask if the product contained any chemicals?
The answer was surely NO because we only sell purely natural Chinese medicine. The acupuncturist continued to say his relatives and friends in China used to take TCM products of the same Chinese name from other brands but did not achieve the desired benefits and he wondered why?
Over the years of running ActiveHerb, after serving hundreds of thousand customers, I have heard similar stories over and over again.
It is most fulfilling as Chairman of ActiveHerb to be able to help and touch the lives of so many people. After all, we need to always keep in mind and ask ourselves what makes people take Chinese medicine or dietary supplements in a broader term in the first place.
No doubt, people take Chinese medicine to support their health. Helping people achieve their health goal certainly is the most important attribute of Chinese medicine. For this reason, when we started the company, we set out to make the best-in-class Chinese medicine so the power of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be fully realized.
Then what actually makes Guang Ci Tang® Chinese medicine unparalleled and successful where others fail?
Many people think a Chinese herbal formula is simply a powder of herbs made by mixing and grinding. Some TCM products are indeed made that way and they are not concentrated at all. Many others are made from cooking herbs in water and then harvesting extracted ingredients. Herbal formulas made from extraction can be either concentrated or diluted, depending on the yield in the end, in comparison to the amount of starting raw herbs.
What actually makes Guang Ci Tang® Chinese medicine unparalleled and successful where others fail?
If 10 grams of a finished product is made out of 20 gram of raw herbs, the product is concentrated and the concentration ratio is 2 times, often written 2x or 2:1. However, if 10 grams of the finished product is made from 1 gram of raw herbs, as is often the case for herb tinctures, the product is not concentrated and is actually diluted. In this example, the concentration ratio is only 0.1 times. We can imagine no one would like that expression. Instead, it is referred to as 1:10 extraction.
What is then the typical concentration ratio for Chinese herbal formulas? It is around 2 times. This is concluded from examining the manufacturing protocols of TCM products described in China Pharmacopoeia. How would a customer tell this? Here is one hint. For popular TCM products that serve as small pills, if they are made by following the standard protocols, the dosage is typically suggested as 8 pills each time and 3 times each day. Sound familiar?
Now, this is what sets us apart. The entire line of Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicine has a concentration ratio of 5 times, meaning each gram of the finished product contains the equivalent of 5 grams of raw herbs. This 5X concentration is twice more concentrated than from other brands commonly seen on the market. As a simple note, each Guang Ci Tang tablet or pill weighs 0.2 grams and is equivalent to 1 gram of dry raw herbs.
Higher concentration means higher potency. Higher concentration also means lower daily dosage is needed. Instead of 8 pills 3 times daily, Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicine only needs to be taken at a dosage of 5 pills or tablets 2 times daily to be comparable.
One may argue that no matter how concentrated your tablets are, if your raw herbs are inferior, you do not have good products. This is totally true. That is why we insist on sourcing premium quality Chinese herbs only. We all know from life experience what a difference the quality of materials can make. Never do we sacrifice quality over cost.
The quality of Chinese herbs has some special attributes that present their own challenges as well. For example, which part of the plant is to be used, the flower, the stem, the leaf, the root, or the seed? What is the right year of growth or season to harvest the herb? Does the herb need to be processed in a certain way to increase the efficacy or reduce any undesired properties?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been practiced for ages. Many formulas used widely today are dated back two thousand years ago and are truly time tested. We are indebted to this great TCM foundation. A big part of Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicine is selected from the classic formulas invented by the great minds in TCM history.
Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicine also offers a collection of many innovative formulas that are adapted to the health challenges of our time. They are formulated by combining the principle and practice of TCM with the knowledge of modern biomedical research on TCM. These signature formulas are unique and popular among our customers. They are highly regarded for doing what they are designed to do. Sleepeace is just one of them. Their formulations, like secret sauces in a restaurant, are kept to ourselves only.
No matter how potent a TCM product is, if it is not made clean or it compromises on safety, it would serve the opposite purpose. We understand how important it is to make our products pure. We make conscious efforts to deliver purity. First of all, none of our products contains any pharmaceuticals. Whatever the effect from taking our products purely results from the listed herbal ingredients. We also make sure our products are not adulterated with compounds such as aristolochic acid that are known to pose health risks. We do this by excluding any Chinese herbs that may contain such compounds.
Many customers are concerned with heavy metal contaminations. We implement a heavy metal safety specification that exceeds the standards set forth by the US Pharmacopoeia (USP). We insist on testing each single production batch for heavy metals by an independent lab. We also routinely perform confirmatory tests of heavy metals in 3rd party US laboratories. We post these test results on our website so customers can check them directly.
Another parameter when we think about purity is the binder/filler in our products. Ideally we do not like to introduce any binders. In production, it turns out very hard in consistently forming tablets or pills without the use of any binders. We then sort to use as little binders as possible. In other words, we make the tablet or pill as pure as it can get.
With all the great specifications, we need to have a reliable manufacturer partner who shares our vision, who pours his heart and soul to turn the specifications into reality. We are fortunate to have such a partner.
You may notice that TCM products in the pill form are common in the marketplace. However, tablets like ours are hardly seen from other brands. This is because it is hard to make the tablets without the excessive use of binders. We developed special procedures to make the tablets with as little as 3% binders.
If you pay close attention to our tablets, you may find the tablets are not coated, which is harder to make but has the advantage of easy disintegration. They are small and easy to swallow. The uncoated tablets can be easily dissolved in hot water and served as tea. This is especially convenient for someone who needs to drink liquids. A drawback though with uncoated tablets is that they are a little brittle so they may occasionally be broken after transportation.
Succeed where others fail
I would like to mention that ActiveHerb is a US company and Guang Ci Tang is an American brand. All Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicines are made according to ActiveHerb’s product specifications with integrity. We believe these specifications hold the highest standard in today’s field of Chinese medicine. To get the most out of them, we strongly encourage our customers to visit a licensed acupuncturist to find which products would most fit their unique condition.
I would also like to remind everyone that copycats to Guang Ci Tang Chinese medicine are around. They claim to be the same as Guang Ci Tang and copy whatever we say about our products like true 5:1 concentration etc. But more likely than not, their products do not have the attributes that make our products stand out.
Dr. Sheldon Li is Chairman of ActiveHerb Technology, Inc. He received his Ph. D. in molecular biology with honor from the University of Zurich and conducted cutting edge research at Yale and UCSD. His seminal discoveries are featured in the "Molecular Biology of the Gene", an influential textbook studied by biomedical students in the US.