About Empirical Health Honey Pearls


Empirical Health Honey Pearls

We are excited to announce that we are now distributing Empirical Health Honey Pearls!

Spring Wind is very careful about what brands we carry and present to our customers. We take great care to make sure that we agree with the brand’s values and level of transparency.

Click Here to see the current selection of Honey Pearls we carry.

Please enter code FIRSTHP at checkout to receive a 10% discount on your first Honey Pearl Order.

Below, we briefly discuss the historical usage of Honey Pills (aka Honey Pearls) in Chinese medicine and detail the reasons we have chosen to carry Empirical Health Honey Pearls.

Honey Pills (蜜丸)

Honey pills (蜜丸) have a long history in Chinese medicine. The recently unearthed, pre-Han, Wǔ Shí Èr Bìng Fāng (Formulas for Fifty-two Disorders) mentions several honey-pill formulas. In the Han dynasty Zhang Zhong-Jing included a number of honey pills in the Shāng Hán Lùn Zá Bìng. In the dynasties that followed, more and more honey pill formulas were added to the Chinese herb doctor’s toolbox.

In Chinese medicine, honey is considered sweet and fragrant and is said to moderate harshness, nourish the center, quiet cough, gently precipitate and moisten, resolve toxicity and reform overly strong or unpleasant tastes. Honey pills are the most common pills in Chinese medicine, probably because honey is used to bind most pills that belong to the category of supplementation and nourishment.

It is important to understand that honey pearls (pills) are quite distinct from the tiny tea pills so popular in today’s Chinese medicine market. Tea pills are made from herb concentrate. Though they use classical formulas, this form of pill is not found in classical medical literature. Tea pills list no honey in their ingredients and include ingredients such as China wax, activated carbon, and talcum.

Honey pills on the other hand are made from herb powders that are mixed with honey and then kneaded and formed into pills. They are usually the size of a green pea (classical literature refers to this size as 梧桐子大 or “as large as a phoenix tree seed”) and are intended to be chewed and swallowed. In the case of Empirical Health Pearls, the pills are made in small batches with carefully selected herbs. This differs substantially from mass-produced tea pills.

Why Empirical Health Pearls?

Several years ago, Simon Feeney, who is the owner of Empirical Health, contacted us regarding purchasing herbs to use in his products. We were excited about this because Simon made it clear that he wanted his company to use herbs that were in line with Spring Wind’s standards. It being impractical and environmentally irresponsible to ship large amounts of herbs from Asia to the US and then to Australia (where Empirical Health is located), we arranged for Simon to purchase directly from some of our suppliers. We arranged a trip to Taiwan and China together and introduced him to our suppliers and growers in those countries. He also explored local options and found some organic Chinese herbs that were being grown in Australia. Given Spring Wind’s support for locally grown Chinese medicinal herbs in the US, we naturally support the same being done in Australia. His insistence on using quality, pesticide-free and organic herbs whenever possible and the detail that Simon puts into herb identification and herb quality, gives us confidence in the herb products Empirical Health produces. They even use local Australian organic honey in their pills (pearls).

We tell the following story to demonstrate how dedicated Simon is to recreating Chinese medicine as it was practiced in classical times. When in Taiwan, we took Simon to the National Museum and there he found on display a model of the device used to standardize measurements during the Han dynasty (how big is a Sheng?, for example). Simon got all the dimensions of the device and recreated it in Australia. From that he could then determine the actual dosages used by Zhang Zhong-Jing in his formulas. This type of painstaking research is typical of the way Simon goes about recreating the pills and powders he makes for practitioners.  It’s the next best thing to having Zhang Zhong-Jing mix up the formulas for us.

The pills that Empirical Health produces are made as they should be. No shortcuts, no additives, and no chemicals. The herbs are as they should be, the method is as it should be, and the resulting products are like something out of Zhang Zhong-Jing’s kitchen.

It is refreshing to see the amount of detailed research and effort that Empirical Health puts into their products. We are proud to represent them and make their products available to practitioners in the US.

Click Here to see the current selection of Honey Pearls we carry.

Please enter code FIRSTHP at checkout to receive a 10% discount on your first Honey Pearl Order.


Here is a short video about Simon and Empirical Health: