Di Dao Herbs: High Quality TCM Herbs Grown in Their Natural Habitat

For about a decade or so, the importance of purchasing foods that are grown organically and locally has grown exponentially. We now know that in order to receive the proper amount of nutrients for our bodies, we need to eat with the seasons and locally. Eating citrus in the winter to enhance the body's immune system while eating tons of vegetables sprinkled with lemon juice in the spring help to kick start liver detoxification. 

In Traditional Chinese medicine there is a word that describes this very idea but in reference to Chinese herbs. Di Tao translates to “Earth Tao (Dao)” or "authentic source” in Chinese and it is the fundamental concept in Chinese herbalism but is vastly overlooked and disregarded by many American herbal companies. While its drastically overlooked, Di Tao herbs are extremely important to the herbal consumer as you can’t make a good herbal remedy without the proper tools. Most of the herbs sold in the United States are commodity grade herbs, basically the herbs are mass produced and are purchased by herb companies based upon price and the chemical standard that the dietary supplement industry has regarded as “acceptable and attainable”. Think corn and cotton production here in America, factory farmed making them less energetically and nutrient dense as those grown the organic way. Di Tao herbs are quality dense herbs that have been grown in their natural habitat which gives them the healing properties that every TCM herb needs in order to be effective in helping the body heal its various dis-eases. 

Di Tao is not to be confused with organic but it also does not mean that they are not. Because China and other Asian countries have not implemented an “organic system” it is not possible to make herbal products from strictly organic materials. However, many herbal companies are still able to grow herbs by methods that would make them certifiable in America. This is why knowing what companies you are shopping from is so important because it could be the difference in paying $25 for something that says organic but is grown is very different part of the world which causes the herb to be a lot less therapeutic a grade than those Chinese herbs grown in distinct parts of China. Organic is certainly an important aspect when determining the kinds of herbs and foods we put into our pantries but it is not the ONLY aspect that should be considered especially when talking about TCM medicinal herbs. 

A great example of what the Di Dao means to Chinese herbalism is comparable to what the vintage means to wine. If you've had wine before you know the importance of its vintage. The vintage is basically the time stamp in which the wine was harvested, pressed and bottled. Each bottle of wine is different because the grapes are individuals, the way in which the sun hit the grapes as they were growing gave it a certain quality of nutrients while another bottle was more shaded causing it to lack certain antioxidant qualities. This can all effect how the taste of the bottle of wine comes out. The quality of wine just like the quality of herbs can vary from year to year and location to location because of change in climate, altitude, you name it it can effect the growth of the plant and the energetic properties that it may or may not contain. California can grow grapes all year round because of their nearly perfect temperatures but it is not the same for those out in France whose temperatures fluctuate year round because of this California can grow grapes even when they are not in season making them less energetic than those grown during the right time. 

As busy twenty somethings, thirty somethings, forty somethings and beyond we forget the importance of where our food is grown and packaged and if the farmer was paid a fair wage. It is important for any plant to be "grown Di Dao," like I would say, since nutrients and flavors only fully develop if the environment is optimal. You cannot expect the same energy from a goji berry that didn't have to grow through cold climates, high altitudes and gusting winds because then the energy is lacking and it will not work as effectively as one that did. Its like trying to make an electric screwdriver work without first charging its batteries, you cannot expect the plant to grow in medicinal property without the proper "battery charging".  

Some examples of foods and herbs grown in Di Tao regions are as follows:

Lettuce is best when grown in Monterey, California.

Chrysanthemum Flowers have to be from Kantang, China  

Astragalus should come from Shan Xi, China

Goji Berries are best from Ningxia, China 

Schizandra Berry are most medicinal from Liaoning, China

Hawthorne berries are best if they're from Henan, China

Turmeric should come from Che Shron

The way the weather and the altitude are gives these herbs and vegetables the right qualities to create the medicinal energetic properties they need. 

What are some other herbs and produce that are Di Dao? Please share!