How Our Pills Are Made

The Finest Ingredients

Old Grinding tool

An Antique Herb Grinding Tool

Grinding herbs into powder used to be very difficult and time consuming task in old days. When dealing with dried roots and twigs, cleavers and wooden chopping block were used to chop them into smaller pieces. Hard seedy herbs and natural minerals had to be repeatedly pulverized with a mallet into manageable sizes. When all the herbs are finally small enough to be ground into powder, the grinding tool were rolled back and forth for many hours to turn coarse herbs into finer powder.

Now the process of grinding herbs is much more efficient with a help of modern equipment. Not only do they save significant amount of time, it also made it possible to produce Ultra fine particles which is similar to the texture of corn starch. What was considered fine powder back in old days is now referred to as coarse when compared to the particle produced by the machine.

Wodden Chopping block

Old wooden chopping block

Preparation of the Honey

Honey in the pot

Scums on the surface of the honey after several hours of cooking

Honey Scum Scums on the honey after several hours of cooking Honey is commonly used as a ingredients in Traditional Chinese Herbal pills. One main reason is that it makes easy for the powder to bind together to form pills. Though it is entirely possible to form a pills without a honey, it tends to fall apart very easily. Thus, it is not suited for the production in bigger quantity.

It also dissolves in the digestive tract very easily compared to harsh chemical preservatives. Therefore the efficacy of the herb ingredients remains intact. However, it must be properly processed before used as an ingredient. It is a very simple method to purify the honey. It is again a time-consuming, but necessary step in order to produce the best quality pills.

In more modern production method used by large manufacturers, chemical binding agents & preservatives are commonly used to stabilize the pills for the sake of mass production, which in turn sacrifice the quality of the pills. We are of course strongly against using ingredients that may negatively impact health. One of the reasons why honey is used as an ingredient is that it is the best form of natural preservative.

Honey Scum

Old wooden chopping block

Here is how:

  1. Add raw honey and water (1 : 1 ratio) in the large pot.
  2. Stir and dissolve the honey as you heat it up on the stove.
  3. Skim off anything that floats to the surface as you simmer the mixture.
  4. Add more water as the mixture is reduced because of evaporation while skimming off continuously.
  5. The process above is repeated for about 5- 6 hours, until nothing floats to the surface.
  6. Scum Jello Jello like hardened scum of the honey Continue simmering and let the mixture reduce to the half of the original amount.
  7. At the end of the process, you will notice that a part of the mixture solidifies like very firm Jello (see the picture above).
  8. Strain and remove the mixture.
  9. The honey is now purified and ready to be used.

Forming the Herbal Pills

Pill maker

Mist of honey & water are added to the powdered herbs in the spinning bowl to form pills

The fine powdered herbal mixture is placed into a spinning bowl and misted with a mixture of honey and water as the machine spins. As the powder particles begin to stick to one another, they form thousands of micro-pellets. The mist is reapplied slowly and repeatedly until the powder absorbs the liquid. At this point a small amount of powder is added, causing the micro-pellets to become larger and drier. The process of spraying the honey and water mixture, and then adding more powder is repeated until the pills are the appropriate size. The pills are then dried one more time, and a final concentrated mixture of honey and water is added to polish and coat the pills.

You can purchase "Hen Sen Specialty Herbal Pills" here.