The late Dr. Joel Penner, producer of the American Dragon website, was a dedicated teacher and practitioner. He derived much satisfaction from helping to heal people. We are grateful for all the services he provided and we hope that the information found on his website can continue to serve the community. The American Dragon website was his passion, and, over the years, has become a great reference for both patients and professionals. If you would like to help with the hosting & maintenance expenses of the American Dragon website, go to

When we get too comfortable in our routine, we stop challenging ourselves. Complacency is the silent dream killer. 

– Nina Guilbeau


SINCE 1987

Providing TCM clinicians with extraordinary, one of a kind, herbal tea concentrates.

As TCM professionals, we should

never close the door on change.

As TCM professionals, we should

never close the door on change.

Because even just a little more capability in a medicine can make all the difference.

For better results, try using stronger herbal medicine. Not more herbal medicine: more capable herbal medicine.

If we don’t experience new things, we don’t get better.

If a raw herb pharmacy is not practical for you, consider our liquid alternative. Below, we’ll explain why the dehydrated teas (dry herbal extracts) that we clinicians have been led to believe in, while convenient, is inherently lacking in potency. In comparison, our liquid tea concentrates appear unusually strong (Appearances are important). First, we’ll show you why it’s crucial for a clinician to personally test-compare brands for potency. Then, on the VITAL SIGNS page, we’ll show you how very easy it is to do it. You’ll wonder why this wasn’t taught at the university.


As discerning clinicians, first we work to uncover the truly potent TCM that will make a difference; only then, do we consider the convenience question.

Convenience vs. Effectiveness.

Dehydrated teas (dry herbal extracts ) are so lucrative for mass marketers, so accessible for practitioners, and so easy for patients. But there are significant drawbacks, and few educators stray from the path to mention them. Below, we’ll point out a stark reality. Sometimes herbs are critically important to a patient. Especially at those times, the discerning clinician and motivated patient would likely choose effectiveness over the ease of administration.

At the VITAL SIGNS page, forget the brand name, the endorsement, the popularity, we’ll show you how you can tell which products are likely to pay the highest dividends in positive patient outcomes, and which have nothing to offer beyond good looks on the shelf.


Trust is not conferred by title or technical qualifications, and it cannot simply be claimed in a statement. Trust is given by the patient. Learning the Hands-on analysis method described on the VITAL SIGNS page in order to ensure that our patients receive the most capable herbal medicine, is at the core of our professional responsibility. With this knowledge, we can inform a patient as to why one brand of, e.g., Xiao Yao San, can be so different than another brand of Xiao Yao San. It’s a way to earn their trust and their confidence in our determination to effect change.

“Best quality”

…That’s the marketing idiom employed by all brands. So then, are they all the same, more or less? Creative marketing can make a brand that really wants to believe it’s the “Best Quality”, appear as such; even if in reality, it’s weak and incapable. The fact is, the variation in respective potency levels, even between popular brands, is immense. Which are stronger and which are weaker? The failure to check could result in a minimum of outstanding clinical achievements.

Clinicians can verify these potency variations with a simple 5-minute test.

We’ll show you how to do it. The results speak for themselves: No practitioner should be prescribing the popular herbal extract pictured to the right. Why? Because it’s stale and lifeless – contradicting the claim of the USE BY” date. Overprocessed at its beginning, then left without preservatives, the taste is what exposed this feeble product; no high-tech analyzing equipment needed. This commonly prescribed product and highly advertised brand has a lot to say – long before it’s handed to a patient.



It’s taste, fragrance,
and color is a statement
of weakness.

Often on discount special, but if you were the patient, would you accept this formula, or go elsewhere for treatment? It’s a fair question.

. . . Considering how it’s processed, how could the result be any different?

Imagine if this pasta/shrimp dish was processed like the TCM product pictured above: some ingredients overcooked, oxidation racing from the moment it was dehydrated, no refrigeration, and 4 months later it’s in front of you on the dinner table… Whether dinner or medicine, simply tasting it would point to a weak and lame capability. Taste is crucial when appraising potency levels, and sure, some bitter or sweet tastes can survive processing excesses, but overall, judging by the taste, it’s accurate to suppose that the TCM product pictured above would accomplish little beyond placebo. Finding a more effective brand is easy: VITAL SIGNS page.


We read the words, we see the pictures, we’re led to optimistic conclusions . . .

Inferences and Distractions

Marketing agencies can be absurdly creative, exhibiting a shiny and complex industrial wonderland of expertise. It’s all perfect. Compelling on the face of it, but it’s a mere distraction: What’s implied is, ‘Be in awe of our operation; no need to dig deeper.’ It keeps the end product from our taste buds where viability can easily be put to the test. To the perceptive clinician, it’s the taste that exposes the herbal medicine’s potential. Over-processed and inadequately preserved, the worst tastes chalk-like, and the weak are the norm. The mass manufacturing of TCM exists to “treat the masses”, and like with TV-dinners, trade-offs accompany the convenience. It’s important that our patients receive a highly potent medicine and not a product merely posing as one.

Research…  Clinical trials…  Endorsements…

“…I just tasted an herbal extract from my pharmacy. It had only a little flavor. It should possess a frightfully sour taste. When I asked the manufacturer’s rep to explain, he proudly directed me to their website to see massive growing fields, color-rich herb samples, and rooms of complex equipment … Perhaps he had never tasted the manufactured end product: a medicine with little benefit for my patients.”

Yes, by pretending the problem described below does not exist

or does not affect you, your practice will be in the same

boat as many others… That’s not an inspiring business plan.


All dehydrated herbal teas, whether in pill, powder, or granular form, are subject to the same laws of nature as described below; It’s not a matter of if, but of how much potency depreciation has occurred – which is precisely why performing an easy test, as described on our Vital Signs page, is so valuable: to uncover nothing less than the best herbal extracts available.


Problem: The industrialization of TCM results in pharmacies stocked with herbal extract concentrates that are stale/rancid and losing potency every day. “USE BY” date is unrealistic and misleading. The focus here is on dried products in the pill or powder/granule form (dehydrated tea).

Therapeutic Toxic

Many herbs we use in TCM contain a high volume of potent medicinal oils: persica seed/Tao Ren, Armeniacae seed/Xing Ren, 20 commonly used seed varieties, and many other herbs. The changes that happen to the oils after an herbal tea is dehydrated is basic science . . .

Cause: The combination of a substance with oxygen (oxidative rancidity). When herbs are cooked, the protective cell walls are broken, releasing the active compounds out into a bioavailable form. Without preservatives, the process of oxidation begins to occur as soon as it’s dried, exposing the cell’s contents to oxygen in the air. This inevitably diminishes clinical value in only a matter of days. So, months later, when it arrives at the clinic, it’s significantly stale – like would happen to whole wheat flour. The dull, sour, bitter taste does not lie. Storing them at room temperature, in non-photoprotective packaging (clear or white bottles), and exposing them to humidity by repeated opening, all conspire to accelerate potency decline.
These factors make a pharmacy of herbal extract concentrate powders/granules entirely impractical. 

  • Spray drying: This common practice should not be glossed over. While spray-drying is efficient for mass production, it nearly eliminates fragrance. Fragrance is an obvious statement of power. In the bloodstream, the aromatic property is highly therapeutic and fast acting. Pills are commonly made from spray-dried powders (or other spray-air mixing) – that’s one reason why they barely have any smell at all: Therapeutic potential has been sacrificed for production speed and mass-marketing.


Solution: Avoid oxidative rancidity and rapid potency deterioration altogether with a liquid herbal pharmacy. It simply makes more sense. Unlike dried concentrates, our cooked liquid tea concentrates (not tinctures) will not go stale/rancid. They’re preserved with 20% alcohol while fresh and at the height of their potency. They don’t need refrigeration and will remain highly potent for years even if they’re opened 50 times a day. When the window of opportunity to intervene is open, they’re always ready at 100% high potency.

   -The strong taste, revealing a potent medicine, is quite tolerable in a mango juice shot.-

 For your evaluation:    290 Classic Formulas / 314 Singles / Custom Formulas Infinitum


If we don’t experience new things, we don’t get better.