One of the reasons I moved to China was to experience and learn firsthand the traditions of herbal medicine, Qi Gung, and Taoism... and I found one source! My friend, M., had recently discovered an English-speaking TCM who originally hailed from Australia, but lives and practices in Chengdu. Dr. Adam Tate was our host, and presented the tourat the market, to be finished with an herb-full healthful, medicinal meal back at Panda Guesthouse, where we all congregated to begin the tour. The tour was also hosted by Liz from Fat Cat, a local start-up art space and gallery, recently opened by her and her Chinese fiance'. They hired Didis (Chinese Uber) for our group of 12, and we set off for the very, very long drive up north to the market. Read on for photos and to learn about these herbs -- some of which originated in the west and migrated to China; although unfortunately, we no longer use these vital, healing herbs. The majority of the herbs are locally harvested and grown, here in Sichuan, or in the nearby provinces of Yunnan and Tibet! Others, such as saffron, are imported from India, Iran, Africa, and Europe.
Ginseng is also a tonifying remedy, called renshen in Chinese. Asian ginseng -- panax ginseng -- is a creamy-white when pulled fresh from the earth and used to increase yin energies. Red ginseng, like Korean ginseng has been preserved in alchohol and increases yang characteristics. About yin and yang: www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/. Both cordyceps and ginseng are among the many "graded" medicines in the market; graded for quality, such as AAAAA vs. AA.