Herbal Tea

Chinese herb(al) tea, also known as medicinal herbal tea, is a kind of tea-soup made from purely Chinese medicinal herbs in Guangdong (Kwangtung), China. It usually tastes bitter or lightly sweet and its colour is typically black or dark brown, depending on what kinds of herbs are used. Although it is referred to as "tea", it seldom contains any part of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

The climate of Guangdong is sub-tropical, with a primarily hot and humid climate. Cantonese people boil what are referred to as cooling herbs in Traditional Chinese medicine to made herbal tea, which is consumed in order to relieve the heat and humidity in the body. Therefore, Chinese herb tea is referred to as cold tea or cooling tea in the Chinese language.

There are many kinds of cooling tea. Different kinds of tea are purported to cure or relieve a variety of diseases. Some teas are consumed to alleviate sore throats, some for flu, and others for a number of ailments.

Cooling tea is quite popular in Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as other subtropical locales.[citation needed] Many families make their tea at home. Some families are herb tea specialists who open their own shops, selling different kinds of herbal tea. Some shops have been open for 150 years in Guangzhou and 50–60 years in Hong Kong. It is not hard to find these shops in Hong Kong.

In 1990s and 2000s, cold tea has been bottled, canned or boxed by some herbal tea specialists and is being sold in supermarkets in Asia and Asian markets overseas as fewer and fewer families have time to make them at home. These products are usually sweetened and do not have their original flavours.

Chinese herbs have served as the foundation for "Traditional Chinese Medicine", or TCM, for over 5,000 years. The fundamental idea of living in harmony with nature and the environment forms the basis for the use of Chinese herbs as well as the traditional Chinese approach to health. Knowledge of the healing power of Chinese herbs and herbal remedies has been passed down from generation to generation, and today represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind.

The isolation of China throughout history plays a role in the general lack of understanding about Chinese herbs by other world civilizations. However, since the opening of China in 1972, knowledge of the ancient healing powers of Chinese herbs has been gradually spreading to western countries. Chinese herbs are now experiencing a rapid increase in usage and popularity. Health-conscious consumers are concerned about the concentration of synthetic chemicals in western diets, medicines, and the general environment. Chinese herbs are being welcomed by progressive western consumers who are seeking natural, healthy and balanced alternative remedies.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is very different from the western scientific approach we are accustomed to. Chinese medical experts promote a healthful balance of yin and yang – two forces present in all of nature. When yin or yang forces or qi/energy levels are off-balance in the body and spirit, health problems arise. Chinese herbs and herbal remedies are used to help realign an individual’s yin or yang balance in order to improve overall well-being. Chinese herbal formulas include hundreds of popular organic ingredients that work in harmony to produce the desired effects in a person’s body. These ingredients are primarily of plant origin, and may include roots, bark, seeds, flowers and leaves. Each organic ingredient typically has unique characteristics (i.e. yin/yang balancing, qi/energy boosting, etc.) that are reinforced and harmonized in comprehensive ancient Chinese herbal formulas that have been passed down through the years. For each formula sold at Chinese Herbs Direct, we provide a brief description of the formula itself and its typical actions, as well as a listing of the formula’s herbal ingredients and their unique characteristics. If you'd like to understand more about a particular Chinese herb, websites such as the Chinese Herbs Dictionary and the Chinese Medicine Sampler may be useful resources.

The study of Chinese herbs centers on the proposition that many organic substances have curative powers. Indeed, this is a fundamental tenet of not just Chinese medicine, but Western medicine as well. Popular Western remedies ranging from common aspirin to modern chemotherapy treatments have their roots in organic substances. Western medicine is finally beginning to acknowledge its debt to Chinese herbal medicine, noting that the effectiveness of many modern pharmaceuticals was originally demonstrated in Chinese herbal practice centuries ago. Nonetheless, Chinese herbs should be viewed only as a supplement to western medicine, and not as a replacement. Chinese medicine emphasizes harmony and duality, and this is well-represented by the increasing cooperation between practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and their counterparts in the western medical establishment. Please note that all products on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA, are sold in the US as nutritional supplements and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Chinese Herbs Direct® offers ready-made Chinese patent formulas to address common health and nutritional concerns. Our Chinese herbs are offered in pre-mixed pill, tablet, extract, liquid, tea or raw form and are manufactured by world-class laboratories under the strictest GMP standards. Our products are typically offered as pre-mixed Chinese herbal formulas - no special measuring, mixing or decocting skills are required (with the exception of certain extract powders and raw herbs available under special order). The herbal remedies distributed through Chinese Herbs Direct are intended for consumers seeking specific nutritional supplements that address common health conditions. Chinese Herbs Direct does not evaluate patients or offer individual health advice. Please consult your physician, licensed acupuncturist or herbalist knowledgeable in Chinese herbs to decide if these products may be useful and appropriate for you.

We look forward to sharing the wonders of Chinese herbs with you.