Five Questions With…An Expert in Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Thomas teaching students about the benefits of Chinese herbs.

Thomas teaching students about the benefits of Chinese herbs.



While herbal medicine has become progressively popular over the past 5-10 years as people look for healthier alternatives to prescription drugs, Chinese herbal medicine has remained outside of the mainstream.

But what most people don’t realize is that Chinese medicine is one of the most thoroughly studied and documented systems of natural healing in the modern world, with countless years of experience and a proven track record to back it up.

With so many corner shops selling Chinese herbs it can be difficult to know which places are dealing in quality herbs and which places aren’t quite trustworthy, but as far as online sources go, Shaman Shack Herbs is one of the finest because of their commitment to sourcing the herbs from places like Northern Manchuria and Korea and other places where they are wild-crafted in areas relatively free from pollution.

The website was founded by Rehmannia Dean Thomas, a Chinese herbal expert who studied under Ron Teeguarden, one of the best-known names in Chinese herbal medicine.

Prior to his second appearance at the annual Awake & Empowered Expo, happening in downtown Detroit, Michigan at the historic Westin Book Cadillac from March 18-20, Thomas (whose latest book titled ‘Raw Chi’ is all about balancing a raw food diet with warming Chinese herbs) took the time out to answer 5 questions about Chinese herbs and why they could be the missing piece to your personal health routine (I’ve personally heard him speak and tried his herbs and I must say I was very impressed):

NM: It seems like more people are getting into natural remedies and herbal treatments than at any time in recent memory, but Chinese herbs haven’t quite broken into the mainstream yet. Why do you think that is?

RDT: China is on the other side of the world, and culturally they’ve done things almost exactly the opposite of us. So they seem alien. Yet, their Taoist roots include the use of herbs, and we are now finding out about this deeply effective and sophisticated system of herbology. Maybe it is because we in the West are finally advancing to a cultural maturity that can accept their immense contributions to health and culture.

NM: What would be the biggest and best reasons for someone to visit a Chinese herbalist or to start buying Chinese herbs to supplement their healthy routines?

RDT: Chinese herbalism is a very sophisticated health system that is rooted in holistic and preventative approaches, and works very well along with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Chinese herb formulas can be created to address specific or broad-spectrum health concerns.

dean big reishi

Thomas with a giant reishi mushroom.

NM: Do you personally know any stories of people who’ve made “miraculous” recoveries from serious diseases or disease states with the types of herbs and protocols you use, and if so what did they use?

RDT: I can’t make claims, but the Chinese and Japanese research and empirical observation over centuries attests to the efficacy of the system, and modern science has verified the ancient beliefs.

NM: If someone wanted to learn more or get into Chinese herbs and acupuncture where would they begin? There are a lot of corner shops and such but how can people tell when they’re getting quality products and treatments?

RDT: As in everything, quality can be assured by purchasing the higher priced herbs from a reputable company. For a general understanding of Tonic Herbalism, I have an online course; There are many universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in America. But beware, the 4 year curriculum is very difficult!

NM: If you had to recommend 3 tonic herbs for people to take for overall health, what would they be?

RDT: Reishi, Astragalus and Schizandra.

Bonus question: Give us a sneak preview of what you plan to talk about at this weekend’s expo?

I will describe ancient elixirs of immortality and show everyone the herbs. I will also offer free pulse analysis all weekend and will have my Tonic herbal products there.

Thanks for reading! See Dean at the 3rd Awake & Empowered Expo in Detroit; tickets can be found by clicking here. On Friday you can also get a free pass to the exhibitor’s space by clicking here, or attend a special 333 Tibetan Bowl “Galactivation” event for just $25 to kick off the expo; click here for more information.



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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.