Spring Wind Herbs, Inc. was founded by Andrew Ellis (Andy) and Sheng-Ching Hwang.
In the beginning…
After returning from many years of study in Taiwan and mainland China in the early and mid1980’s, Andy and Sheng-Ching moved to Florida where Andy practiced acupuncture and herbs and taught for several years. Andy was then hired by the American College of Oriental Medicine in San Francisco to teach in their herb program and the family moved to the Bay area in 1991. Spring Wind was founded in 1992 in El Cerrito California to meet the herb needs of local practitioners. Spring Wind started out as a small storefront that served as a local herb shop where practitioners could fill prescriptions and talk about herbs. In the years that followed, Spring Wind searched out the highest-grade bulk herbs and made them available to the practitioner community.
During this journey, Spring Wind discovered serious issues in the US Chinese herb market including the sale of incorrect species of herbs, sulfur fumigation, and the common use of pesticides on herbs. We decided to dedicate ourselves to become a part of a solution for these problems. Thus, in 1995 we started our campaign against chemical pesticides and other contaminants found on Chinese herbs. Spring Wind was the first company to introduce a lot-based testing system for a comprehensive list of pesticide residues, and brought the issue of the use of incorrect species of herbs to the forefront. In order to implement our standards Spring Wind transitioned from a local herb shop to an importer and distributor and started putting all our efforts into expanding our line of “Premium Grade” herbs (meaning tested free of added sulfur and only accepting none-detected pesticide results, see full description on our Herb Grades Definition page), and were fortunate enough to find some extraordinary suppliers and growers who were willing to listen to our crazy ideas about procuring pesticide-free herbs. One herb at a time, they were able to work with us to find growers who were willing to forgo the use of chemical pesticides on many herbs. In 2005, Spring Wind also began working with growers, suppliers and manufacturers to offer certified organic herbs and we now carry a large and growing selection of USDA NOP certified organic Chinese herbs.
To supply the Chinese herbal community with clean, high-quality bulk herbs and herbal products that do not compromise on our standards and, importantly, to provide transparency as we do so. This involves working with growers and manufacturers in Asia and the US to continuously improve the quality and purity of herbs and herbal products available to the practitioner community and to provide transparency in all aspects of our business. We plan to continually expand the selection of pesticide-free, organically grown, and certified organic herbs and herbal products we can offer to practitioners and their patients.
As practitioners and patients, we have seen the remarkable results that Chinese medicine can accomplish. It is our aim is to help practitioners to help their patients. It is ultimately the successful treatment of pain and suffering that is our goal.