Navigating The Herb Buying Process

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buying herbs and formulasSelecting a company to supply the herbs and formulas you prescribe your patients can be a difficult process for many practitioners, especially for those who are just starting out. There are multiple companies to choose from, and many facets of each company that you will need to have a clear understanding of before making any purchasing decisions. One of the most crucial elements of your practice is vetting the herb producers who will support your patient care. KPC wants to make every aspect of TCM practitioners’ lives easier. This article looks at several key topics to consider when considering a new vendor and provides valuable questions you can ask them to determine if they are the right partner for you.

Use online resources, but talk directly to sellers whenever possible

Today, practitioners can find ample information about their potential purchases and purchasing partners online before they buy. Consumers of herbal products can also enjoy this benefit. However, due to the unique nature of herbal products, practitioners should always speak directly to a distributor whenever possible. Even a reputable company is unlikely to have all relevant information online and you will need to detailed information about your purchase, their business history and their approach to herbal medicine before you buy.

When you talk to your distributor, there are several key pieces of information that you will need to know before you can confidently purchase your products. To help make selecting a reputable seller easier, we have compiled a few of the most important questions here, for your convenience.

Responsible practitioners will want to know:

Where are your products manufactured?

Some companies may say their products are manufactured in the United States but, in reality, products are only bottled or encapsulated in the U.S. Products which are “finished” in the U.S. can legally be sold as “manufactured” in the U.S., regardless of their country of origin. For this reason, consumers should always ask about where the ingredients in any given product originate.

What type of testing do you do on your products?

Do you have testing reports that I can see that document the tests you have conducted? How long does it usually take to get a copy of these reports?

Companies who routinely test each batch of their products will not have a problem providing you with copies of their CoA’s (Certificates of Analysis) for you to review. A reputable manufacturer should be able to provide you with this data within a reasonable timeframe. For example, KPC tests every batch of its products, so it can provide interested customers with a CoA for each batch of products — not merely a “blanket” CoA for a product item, formula, or even single herb.

What is your manufacturing process?

A company’s manufacturing processes should be as transparent as possible. be completely transparent. Your supplier should be able to explain all the steps that each manufacturer takes clearly and answer any questions about it you may have.

Do you perform “identity testing” during the manufacture of your products?

Ensuring that a manufacturer has the right species of raw material is the starting point for ensuring that the correct and highest quality herbs are being used in their products. If there is any doubt about whether a seller performs identity testing, do not purchase their products.

Do you have vendor or partnership programs with your suppliers? Vendor programs set strict standards that suppliers must follow, and they are a crucial determinant of whether or not the highest quality herbs are being produced.

Distributors can be an additional, valuable resource for buyers

Some Chinese herbal producers sell directly to their practitioners, while others sell their herbs through distributors. Neither business model is strictly superior to the other. KPC, however, believes that working through distributors has many advantages that can directly benefit customers. A producer-distributor model, for example, can be very efficient. Using this model, KP can focus on producing the highest-quality herbs possible, while KPC focuses on importing and delivering them to our distributors quickly, while its distributors can specialize in providing in-depth, knowledgeable and attentive customer service to buyers.

With the regulation landscape evolving rapidly, and affecting the governance and oversight of the import and export of herbal products, KPC’s business model ensures that customers have a wide variety of products always readily available. Further, since all of KPC’s distributors have worked with us for over 10 years, herb buyers can expect first-class service from any distributor they choose, just as if they were buying directly from KPC. Also, since KPC sets the herb prices, not the distributors, buyers can focus on selecting the best distributor for their needs without worrying about price comparison. Each of our vendors services a unique geographic region and has its own approach to herbal medicine, so you can easily select one that matches your logistical requirements and treatment philosophy.

KPC Can Also Help You Start Your Own Brand if That’s Where You’re Headed

KPC also works directly with practitioners who want to start their own brand. Through OEM (original equipment manufacturing) services, KPC can support practitioners by providing high-quality herb and herb formulas directly to you that you can then label and resell to your customers. Practitioners enjoy a two-fold benefit through using KPC as an OEM provider. First, practitioners can extend their value to customers through their own branded products, which can reflect their unique approach to patient care. Second, they can prescribe herbs to their patients in total confidence, based on the stringent and verifiable quality control processes conducted by KP. As a result, practitioners give their patients the highest level of care and also grow their businesses with minimal risk and maximum customer and practitioner satisfaction.

Practitioners can rely on KPC Herbs for not only high-quality herbs but also helpful advice!

KPC believes in the value of providing high-quality Chinese herbs to practitioners and consumers around the world. For this reason, KPC makes a concerted effort to educate acupuncturists, patients and anyone interested in TCM about the factors that distinguish one product and one company from another. When you select an herb provider that takes every available measure to verify its product and comply with numerous, international pharmaceutical regulations, you can embark on a wellness plan with complete peace of mind and improve your health more quickly.

This has been KPC Herbs’ commitment to its partners for five generations and these values continue to drive our business today. Whether you buy from us or not, we hope you will rely on us as a resource as you expand your knowledge about Traditional Chinese Medicine. Exploring Chinese medicine can be one of the most beneficial and natural steps you can take to enhance your wellbeing and we want as many people as possible to enjoy these benefits as safely as possible. We wish you good health!

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