Your health is your future...
This is another important issue, and one that the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) has been trying to address for quite some time.
The quality of herbal medicines can vary considerably and this of great concern to the herbal community as a whole. Poor products tend to achieve poor results and unwanted side-effects. Side-effects are usually brought on by the use of sulphur dusted over the herbs to act as a preservative.
The RCHM has worked hard to get suppliers to comply with their high standards of quality. This has progressed considerably over recent months.
Personally I have always sourced good quality herbs. This was instilled in me from the start of my training in CHM.
Via quality control the soil the herbs are grown in is tested for various properties, the area would be assessed for polluting sources, and the plants would be tested for the presence of chemicals that are not part of the inherent structure of the herb.
Without quality control the herbs can absorb heavy metals and chemicals from pollution. Poor soil quality results in the herbs growing at an unhealthy standard. The herbs can contain numerous chemicals as the rainfall pulls the pollution from the sky and this is then absorbed by the plants. To top it all, the herbs get a fine dusting of sulphur at the end of the process which acts as a preservative.
To me, this is a poor way to produce a “natural” medicine.
So if your herbs are cheap and you think you are getting a great deal, think again, it’s likely your herbs are from an inferior source and likely to be contaminated with various pollutants (unbeknown by yourself).
Chinese Herbal Medicine does not have to be overtly expensive, but the labour involved maintaining quality control (someone has to do all the checks) has to be paid.
This is a relatively small fee for a great achievement in cleaning up these most important Natural Medicines.