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Contrary to general belief, the majority of Chinese herbs are not (strictly) for medicinal use. They are known or categorized as ‘tonic’ herbs, whose primary function is famous for providing the body with strength or energy. Many Chinese tonic herbs have been proven to be super-nutrients with the ability to enhance body functions, thus ultimately helping to establish optimum health. According to Ron Teeguarden (1984, 2000), one of the foremost Western authorities in this field, tonic or superior herbs are (relatively) safer and most may be consumed regularly as part of one’s dietary supplements.

And only Chinese herbs that have been used over many centuries and meet the following specific qualifications are typically accepted as tonic or superior herbs:

- They must have anti-aging or longevity functions, along with profound health-promoting actions.

- They must be able to help balance the internal bodily ecosystem so as to be capable of maintaining one's state of spiritual and emotional well being and happiness.

- They must have no adverse side-effects when used in a reasonable manner or for a reasonable time interval.

- They must taste good enough to be consumed easily and must be easily digestible and assimilable.