I started like most every handmade product producer does, in my kitchen, with a very supportive (and curious) family unit, that liked to tease me endlessly while I was “in production”. Even though I am an experienced herbalist able to create formulas on a single bound, I have, on more than one occasion, blown up a glass pyrex cup holding expensive healing oils (The great Tamanu incident of 2016) while trying to master the new art of developing effective base combinations.
It is hard to be an effective physician when you can only see 1 person at a time and for only 30 minutes or 1 hour once a week. That’s why herbal formulas, that can be used as daily therapies, are so important. But patient compliance is another issue.
I first got the idea of making a product out of my herbal formulas when I tried, unsuccessfully, to get patients experiencing horrible menstrual cramps that had them curled up on the floor with pain every month to take their herbs.
One would think the pain would have been enough of an incentive to inspire compliance, but Chinese herbs do not taste good and we all know it.
So I tossed the ancient formula into a frying pan, poured honey over it, and honey friend the herbs. Then I scooped the gooey glop into a 1 gram spoon and dipped it into a vat of organic, dark chocolate and stored it in the fridge. “Taming the Shrew Dark Chocolate Bon Bons for Painful Menstrual Cramps” was born and was a huge hit in medical school. (don’t worry I will bring them back).
6 years later, I got the call from my son’s Montessori school telling me he had been bitten in the face by a classmate while I was in the middle of seeing patients in my Oriental Medical Practice. It was no surprise to anyone that I quickly showed up with a jar full of a 3,000 year old Chinese battlefield formula I had been brewing in my house for just such an occasion.
As soon as I saw him I saw the giant Erythema beginning to form on his face and told him the same thing I would have said to any one of my friends or patients who had just experienced a trauma to their face, “it’s not so bad.”
As I applied the remedy, his teachers watched and promised to apply it throughout the day to avoid any bruising whatsoever, and I went back to my clinic. Within minutes his pain had subsided, no bruise was ever able to form and by the morning there were no signs of trauma, and my second product was born. I bottled it, put it on the shelf and called it the “Aged Trauma Extract” (aka Boo Boo Be Gone). Since its inception, it has prevented black eyes from forming after accidents and relieved pain, swelling and bruising due to bottles dropped on toes, and fingers slammed in doors.
It was not long after that when the next call came from a patient with HIV, so wrought with anxiety I could not ignore his request. He would give his left lung for an ointment that would stop him from having painful, daily cold sore outbreaks; hence my third product, the “Viraease Lip Ointment“. Next was a painful knee surgery that wasn’t healing very well and had profound nerve pain associated with it, out came the “Wound Repair” (the most popular product!). Growing pains and neuropathy, the “Warming Salve” was developed. Nail fungus, the “FungaClear” was conceived.
Once I began officially making these products, more requests came in; Herpes Zoster outbreaks, meet the “Viraease Skin Salve“; my baby has chest congestion and wheezing do you have anything, the “Chest Rub Salve“; make my cystic acne stop, the “Acne Serum“; I have an embarrassing fungus around my you-know-where-down-below-parts from chafing, the “Anti-Chafing Sports Salve” to the rescue; and the inevitable, do you have anything for dry skin-wrinkles-beauty-youth serum? Introducing the “Facial Rejuvenation“.
That’s not all, I have a number of products which continue to be tested in my very supportive and very forgiving local community.
I am now an FDA registered manufacturing facility and all of my formulas are FDA registered. I use vetted ingredients and responsibly grown oils in every handmade quality-controlled batch packaged with efficient semi-automatic end-line production machines to meet the current local and national demands. It is my goal, and dream, to be “the” manufacturer and developer of the heavily influenced by Chinese Medical Theory all-natural, botanical product line that can be found on our retail shelves.
Chinese Medicine has always been a medicine “for the people“, it was designed to treat the masses as efficiently as possible, and I am honored to continue that practice in this product line. My products are a global extension of my clinical reach; they are good, they are safe, and they help a lot of people.
Candice Nelms, Dipl. OM