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How to Choose What Type of Chinese Herbal Medicine to Take

1. CUSTOM GRANULE FORMULAS: These come in a bottle of mixed powder. You place the required number of scoops into a cup and dissolve them in hot water, then drink them like a tea. NOTE: Look out for an email and text message from the Herb Dispenser (herbdispenser.com) and you can pay them directly to mail your custom herb order to you. Options: For an additional processing cost at the dispensary, these can be made into tablets and capsules.

Pros: Potent and effective. Formula is customized to your exact TCM diagnosis. Easy to take. The granule company we use (Tianjiang granules, through the Herb Dispenser) is a large reputable company with Health Canada Natural Product Numbers for all their products. They are tested for contamination by heavy metals and pesticides.

Cons: Some people don’t like tasting the tea (though it is the traditional way to take the herbs)

Cost: Approximately $5-8 per day.

2. CUSTOM RAW HERB FORMULA: These come in a bag of mixed plant and mineral pieces. You place them into a pot, add water to cover, soak them, boil them for 30 minutes (generally) and then drain them and drink the decoction. Sometimes you need to pre-boil certain herbs, or add other ones toward the end.

Pros: Potent and effective. Formula is customized to your exact TCM diagnosis. The most traditional way to take most formulas. Some organic herbs are available.

Cons: Takes more time to soak and boil the plants, which can mean less regularity in taking the herbs for some busy people. Some people don’t like tasting the tea (though it is the traditional way to take the herbs). Usually not all herbs will be available organically, in which case some of the formula may be less tested (for pesticides / heavy metals).

Cost: Approximately $7-16 per day (depending if you go with organic herbs or not).

3. PILL FORMULAS (BASIC): These come in bottles of small black round pills that are pre-made classical formulas.

Pros: Inexpensive. Convenient. Custom chosen for you (we’ll choose between 1 and 3 bottles that best suit you, and tell you how many to take of each)

Cons: Cannot be customized exactly, as the pills already come with a set combination of herbs in it. The pills can be a bit weaker in strength (though are good enough for many conditions). Less tested (for pesticides / heavy metals, etc.).

Cost: Approximately $1-2 per day.

4. PILL FORMULAS (PREMIUM): These come in bottles of larger tablets that are pre-made formulas.

Pros: Medium cost. Convenient. Custom chosen for you (we’ll choose between 1 and 3 bottles that best suit you, and tell you how many to take of each). More tested than the basic pills (for pesticides / heavy metals, etc.).

Cons: Cannot be customized exactly, as the pills already come with a set combination of herbs in it, and there are limited formulas readily available. The pills can be a bit weaker in strength (though are good enough for many conditions).

Cost: Approximately $2-4 per day.

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