Vegetarians and Chinese Herbal Medicine

silk worms by moners12
silk worms, a photo by moners12 on Flickr.

When hearing the term, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, most people assume that herbal medicine means medicine from plants. On the contrary, traditional Chinese herbs also include animal sources as well as minerals.

Most of my vegetarian/vegan patients are concerned enough to ask if there are any animal products in the herbal formula they are going to take. it’s wonderful that they think to ask! So, if you don’t want any animal products in your herbal formula, make sure that it doesn’t include any of the following-

Bai Hua She- mulitbranded krait
Chan Tui- cicada shell
Di Be Chong- field cockroach
Di Long-earthworm
Dong Chong Xia Cao- dead silkworm fungus
E Jiao- donkey skin
Ge Jie- gecko
Hai Ge Ke- clam shell
Hai Piao Xiao- cuttlefish bone
Hou Zao- gallstone
Ji Nei Jin- chicken gizzard
Jiang Can-dried silkworms
Long Chi-fossilized teeth
Long Gu- fossilized bone
Lu Rong- deer velvet and horn
Mu Li-oyster shell
Niu Huang-cow gallstone
Sang Piao Xiao- praying mantis case
She Tui- snake skin
Shi Jue Ming-abalone shell
Shui Niu Hiao- water buffalo horn
Shu Zhi- leech
Wu Ling Zhi- flying squirrel feces
Wu Shao She- black tailed snake
Yu Nao Shi- fish bones
Zhen Zhu Mu- mother of pearl shell

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