How Safe Is This Chinese Herbal Formula?

by Syl
(Florida)

I'm taking a herbal formula that contains : Shu Di Huang, Shan Yao, He Shou Wu, Rou Cong Rong, Tu Si Zi, Gou Qi Zi, Shan Hu yu, Fu Ling, Fu Pen Zi, Mu Dan Pi, Wu Wen Zi, Ze Xie, Suo Yang. The commercial name is Golden Flower Chinese Herbs " Nourish Essence Formula". I am a pharmacist that is used to side effects and kind of afraid to take herbs but feel that this is the way to take care of your body the natural way.

This formula is supposed to regulate my menstrual period as I am trying to get pregnant. Please give me some peace of mind so i can take them without fear.

Thanks
Syl.

Matthew's reply: Hi Syl, the formula you are taking is based on a well known Chinese herbal tonic. I looked at the Golden Flower website and based on what I read I do not think you have to worry about the quality of the product. They say "All of our formulas are tested for pesticide residues, microbial activity and heavy metals. Our products exceed current international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards."

For a factory to receive GMP status means they have passed all the necessary tests. GMP status also means the factory is regularly inspected by health officials to ensure continued compliance with GMP regulations.

As to how effective that particular formula will be for you I cannot say. To prescribe the right Chinese herbal formula first requires a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis. This can only be done face to face, not via the Internet. I assume the practitioner who gave you the formula did a TCM diagnosis? A Western medicine diagnosis is not enough to properly prescribe Chinese medicine as they are two completely different systems.

When prescribed based on a TCM diagnosis you should not experience any side effects. However, sometimes when taking Chinese herbal tonics you may feel bloated or feel that something is not quite right with your digestion. This is because tonic herbs are heavy in nature and can be difficult to digest. Adjusting the dose or adding herbs to help digestion usually fixes this.

Any negative changes in mood, energy, appetite, sleep and bowels may also mean the formula is not suitable for you. My suggestion is if you have any concerns you should speak with the prescribing practitioner. Once again, though, based on what I read on the website I would not worry about the safety of the formula.

Chinese medicine can work wonders for couples trying to get pregnant as it restores internal harmony and balance gently and, usually, without side effects.

Good luck.

Matthew

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Can You Take 2 Chinese Herbal Formulas At Once?

For instance, I am taking long dan xie gan wan. Can I switch off and take huang lian shang qing pian? It would be one day of long dan x2 and huang lian 1x then the next day huang lian x2 long dan x1, etc, etc.

Matthew's reply: Hi, yes it's possible to take 2, even 3, ready-made Chinese herbal formulas at the same time and alternate them this way. There are many variables though, depending on your problem, how severe it is and the underlying cause and symptoms.

What is your reason for taking them this way? Were the formulas prescribed by a qualified Chinese herbalist or did you self-prescribe? Asking online seems to suggest you are self prescribing, otherwise you would have asked the prescribing doctor. If so I do advise against self-prescribing without sufficient knowledge of Chinese ready-made herbal formulas.

Generally, they are very safe to take but taking them based on matching them up with Western-name illnesses and ailments (if this is what you have done) will probably not be very effective.

For example, the common cold. There are many formulas that can treat this but Chinese medicine recognizes numerous types of common cold that are identified only by way of a Chinese medicine diagnosis - taking the pulse, inspecting the tongue, etc. So, to know which formula is best requires Chinese medical knowledge.

The 2 formulas you are taking are very cooling and if taken for too long can damage your digestion.

Feel free to provide additional information so I can comment further.

Matthew

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