Skip to content


If you live in California, you may have noticed that the labels on some of our products have a PROP 65 Warning Label.

Any warning can be concerning, so we totally understand concerns around this label. Rest assured, our products are safe. Used for generations, they’ve never caused any harm whatsoever.

The issue is trace amounts of lead, which occur everywhere on Earth in plants and water. The issue is not confined to Chinese herbs. Every plant medicine contains, and likely always has contained, trace amounts of lead.

Many nations have established standards for lead in herbal medicines. Japan allows 20 parts per million (ppm) for total metals in herbal medicines. The World Health Organization allows 10 ppm for lead. The Australian TGA allows 5 ppm for lead in a product. Germany allows 5 ppm as well. The US Pharmacopoeia has no standards for herbs, but allows 3 ppm in drugs.

Our products test at an average of 1-3 ppm, which is considered safe and incidental by all international standards for medicine. However, California’s Proposition 65 requires warning at only 1/2 ppm.

We test every batch of our medicines to eliminate any possible contamination. However, herbs grow in the earth and are naturally rich in minerals. Even ours may exceed the amount allowed for food or water. Prop 65 allows the sale of these products, however it requires a warning.

The typical American diet is said to contain 15 – 25 micrograms or more of lead daily, mainly originating in fruits and vegetables. Other environmental exposures can result in up to 200 micrograms consumed daily. A maximum dose of herbal medicine can add 3-15 micrograms of lead per day.

Though these figures may sound high, they are actually quite low. Despite alarms in the media, the lead in our bodies today is actually the lowest in recorded history. Thirty years ago, when lead was in gasoline and most paint, we absorbed five to ten times as much lead as we do today.

Be assured that Dr. Shen products meet all internationally accepted standards for herbal medicines. They remain, as always, the purist and most potent herbal medicines you can buy.

External Articles

Regarding Proposition 65: California could require cancer warning labels on coffee at Starbucks, other retailers – LA Times

Prop 65 and Coffee – NBC News

Why Prop 65 is a Scam – The Fresno Bee 

Coffee Drinkers Need Cancer Warning, Judge Rules – New York Times