IMG_1368I just returned from a whirlwind (10 days) trip to Tainan, Taiwan.  My daughter is living there with her boyfriend studying the Chinese Language at the National Cheng Kung University.  In addition to having lots of adventures with her while I was there, I also had a chance to visit the KPC factory, which is also in Tainan.  It was a very worthwhile and interesting visit!

Here is a picture of us with our helpful guide, Emogene in the herb storage rooms.  They had several huge warehouses to store herbs, each with a different temperature, depending on the herbs stored there.  IMG_2147 They also keep the humidity correct for each type of herb.  The smell of the whole place was wonderfully aromatic.

Here is a picture of workers picking through some Gan Cao to make sure there were no stones or other types of material in it.

IMG_2151We then went into all of their many labs where they test herbs for species, quality and toxins.  The herbs go through many tests from DNA tests to heavy metal tests.  If the herbs don’t pass these tests, they get sent back to the mainland.

IMG_2149We saw the great cooking vats where they cook huge batches of our favorite formulas.  They explained how they post-add herbs like Bo He and Xin Yi Hua.  The base they use to make the powders is a potato starch.

I bought some hard to find herbal formulas such as Di Dang Tang to take home in my suitcase which, after emptying it of all the care packages for my daughter was mostly empty!

Emogene then took us to the public factory where they produce many types of patent formulas.  It was so state-of-the-art and clean.  It is open to the public, so it is also much like a museum of Chinese medicine.

They make interesting patents that are mixed with western vitamins and minerals such as Si Wu Tang plus iron pills and Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang with glucosamine etc.  This type of modification is not quite up my ally, but it was interesting to see.  This kind of thing is very popular all over Taiwan.  For example, when Zoe and I rented a car to go up to the mountains, the car rental company gave us some free toothpaste that included Yu Nan Bai Yao and Pu’er tea!