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Chinese Herbs and Chinese Medicine FAQ
  1. Are Chinese herbs effective?

    Chinese herbs are natural medicines that Chinese people have relied on for their health for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine has been proven effective and widely used in recent years. In many ways, they complement modern medicine and may address health concerns in areas where other treatments fall short. Please refer to Herbal Medicine: Does it Work? for more discussion.

  2. Why are Chinese herbs taken as a formula instead of as a single herb?

    Chinese herbs are rarely used individually in clinics. They are used exclusively in herbal formulas where multiple herbs are combined. These combinations are designed to boost an herb’s effectiveness, address several maladies at once, or to counter potential side effects.

  3. Can you help me understand the names of patent Chinese medicines?

    The names of patent Chinese medicines consist of two parts. The last word indicates the form of the product. For example, wan is for pills and pian for tablets. The preceding words may mean the name of a core herb (e.g., Shou Wu in Shou Wu Pian) or the function of the formula (e.g., Jian Pi in Jian Pi Pian means strengthening the Spleen.)

  4. What are the available forms of herbal formulas?

    The common forms of herbal formulas are Tang (decoction drink), San (fine powder), Wan (pills), Pian (tablets). Tang and San are the original forms from which Wan or Pian are derived. Tang is the most effective type, but involves individual formulation and decoction, which is a complicated process.

  5. What is "Wan" or "Pian" in your patent Chinese medicine?

    "Wan" is the Chinese word for "Pills", whereas "Pian" means "Tablets". The full line of patent Chinese medicines we carry comes in the form of either Wan or Pian. Of the two, Wan is the more traditional form. Both forms contain exactly the same active ingredients extracted in the same way from the same recipe of herbs. Each form weighs the same amount.


  6. Are your products authentic?

    Absolutely. We are the name brand owner of Guang Ci Tang® and ActiveHerb™. For products of other brands, we purchase them directly from the name brand manufacturers or their exclusive US distributors.

  7. How long do I need to take the herbs?

    The duration varies based on the health topic. Some Chinese herbs can do the job after a few doses, while others are taken for months or longer. For quickly onset concerns, Chinese medicines can work very fast and take effect within hours. For concerns that are chronic or larger in scope, it may take months to see results.

  8. Do Chinese herbs have side effects?

    Like their Western medicine counterparts, Chinese herbs may sometimes have undesired side effects. Following the Chinese medicine’s directions carefully, and consulting with a TCM practitioner can help prevent unwanted side effects. Please refer to Herbal Medicine: Is it Safe? for more discussion.

  9. Can Chinese herbs act fast?

    Yes. Herbal formulas can act very fast, depending on the health topic.

  10. Do you guarantee the products you sell are going to work for me?

    We cannot guarantee the products will work for you. Because of the nature of health products neither we nor any responsible party can guarantee such products are going to fit individual conditions and work for you, whether the products are prescribed by a licensed TCM practitioner or selected by yourself based on your own study.

  11. What steps have you taken to ensure that your herbs are not contaminated with heavy metals?

    All of our herbs are processed in modern, GMP-compliant facilities and are rigorously tested for toxic heavy metals. The amount of heavy metals in our herbs is less than the allowable safety limits set forth by the FDA. Please refer to Quality Assurance for more discussion.

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

    Yes, it’s normal. Herbs often have a distinctive natural odor, pleasant-smelling in most cases.

  13. Is there a listing of any inactive ingredients in your patent Chinese medicine?

    All of our patent Chinese medicines are made of 100% natural herbs and do not contain any inactive ingredients such as gluten, sugar, or preservatives. Our proprietary technology allows us to make our tablets or pills with little or no binding agents. Please refer to here for more discussion.

  14. I heard that some patent Chinese medicine companies secretly add pharmaceuticals to their formulas. Does ActiveHerb?

    ActiveHerb does not condone the practice of adding anything to a product without the public’s knowledge. Our Chinese remedies DO NOT contain pharmaceuticals of any kind. Please refer to here for more discussion.

  15. Are your patent Chinese medicines 100% natural?

    Yes. Our patent Chinese medicines do not contain any sugar, pharmaceuticals, artificial color, and preservatives.

  16. Are your patent Chinese medicines concentrated?

    Yes. Our proprietary technology allows us to make our tablets or pills more concentrated than those made by competitors. Please refer to here for more discussion.

  17. What is the difference between your patent Chinese medicines and Chinese herbs made by other American companies?

    Several other American companies produce some popular Chinese herbs such as Dong Gui (Dang Gui) or Shou Wu (Fo-Ti). These herbs are produced by simply grinding the single herbs into powder with no extraction process to separate the inactive ingredients. This is an inferior practice, as it may cause undesired side effects, and compromises the effectiveness of the pure herb.

  18. Are your Chinese patent medicines manufactured in GMP facilities?

    Yes. Every product we sell is manufactured in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facility. Even the facilities we use in China are all GMP-certified for pharmaceutical products. Please refer to here for more discussion.

  19. Is it safe to take several Chinese medicines at once?

    Because each formula is a combination of several herbs, combining several formulas makes it very difficult to guess how the herb interactions will affect the body. We recommend taking no more than two different Chinese medicines at the same time.

  20. Do you know if this product I'm buying interacts with a prescription drug I'm taking? Can I take them together?

    In general, Chinese medicine is not tested for interaction with prescription drugs on the market. Considering the variety of prescription drugs, such tests are not feasible. We do not have any report of interactions as well. If this is a concern, you may consider taking them at different times or consult with health care professionals.

  21. I have some health concerns. Can I describe them to you and ask you recommend a product for me?

    We thank you for your trust. The products we sell are regulated as dietary supplements and no claims on their treatment of diseases are allowed by the FDA. Therefore, we are sorry that we cannot make any specific product recommendation. We would encourage you to either visit a Chinese medicine practitioner or learn more about how TCM may help by exploring our site (for example, at health topics) and doing your own searches online etc.