Shukyi Yun was born in Hong Kong and moved to England when she was six years old. Growing up in a traditional Chinese household, her upbringing was immersed with her motherland’s culture and rituals: she consumed herbs for colds and soups for good health. Her grandmother insisted on seeing only Chinese doctors and Shukyi recalls the pull of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): “It just made me think there was obviously something in Chinese herbology and Chinese medicine that gives us something much more natural. I know what scientists will say – I used to work for a pharmaceutical company – but when you think back to the thousands of years of usage, it has to speak to something.” As fate would have it, when Shukyi returned to Hong Kong with her husband and daughter in 2011, her cultural roots gave her the inspiration for the next chapter of her life: merge old customs with new ideas, she embarked upon founding Herbal Legend.
Herbal Legend: Born From Two Cultures
Combining her acute observations of eastern medicine with her knowledge of the western world, Shukyi along with her husband Alastair decided to take on a modern interpretation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) through Herbal Legend, a line of herbal shampoos and conditioners accessible to a new generation of consumers who might not be aware about the immense benefits of ancient Chinese plants and who many never have heard of Chinese herbology. “When I first got here, I saw lots and lots of products – cosmetic, medicinal – inspired by Chinese herbology. I was intrigued by them but it wasn’t accessible to me because I don’t read Chinese; I didn’t know where they were made, didn’t know how safe their manufacturing was,” explains Alastair. Set on finding the best local manufacturers in Hong Kong that understood their vision of alternative wellness solutions to the masses, Herbal Legend is made locally in small batches to preserve its herbal potency. In addition, all their products comply with the EU cosmetics standards, one of the most stringent global regulations that must undergo expert scientific safety assessments to ensure consumer safety and are not tested on animals.
Authentic Herbology: An Age-Old TCM Modality
Originating in ancient China, TCM is a centuries-old practice and encompasses multiple healing modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise and dietary therapy that has evolved over thousands of years. Herbs are prescribed to restore the optimal energy balance, namely Yin and Yang, opposite forces of energy that run through channels in the body. Unlike traditional Western medicine, which relies on empirically gathered data and the use of pharmaceuticals to target the symptoms of illness, TCM deals with the body as a whole. The thinking is that an individual’s energy and mentality affects a problem and that plants and other alternative solutions can balance the body in order to maintain or restore health.
TCM Haircare: The Powerful Potency Of Chinese Herbs
TCM practitioners will tell you that healthy hair is based on an optimal flow of qi and blood to nourish the scalp. If your qi, or energy flow, is interrupted or out of alignment (due to stress or hormone imbalance, for example), Chinese herbs can help nurse and restore it to prevent hair loss, discoloration or to revive lifeless tresses. Herbal Legend is intent on restoring that balance by putting these herbs to work. Their two signature hair care lines Fleece Flower and Ginseng & Green Tea both showcase a proven combination of plant-based power and modern cosmetic science to help you achieve healthy, manageable hair.
In the first line, the fleece flower (He Shou Wu in Chinese), with its long list of benefits including cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to lower blood sugar levels, is perhaps best known to fortify kidneys and darken hair, not to mention it has also been shown to stop hair loss! When processed and combined with radix polygon multiflori root extract, a powerful anti-oxidant and Chinese herb commonly used in TCM, it promotes the reduction of grey hairs, a winning combination to help smoke away the silver. Many of us have heard about the many health & wellness benefits of ginseng and all the antioxidant-heavy perks of green tea so the potency of this power duo is not hard to fathom; when matched with the camellia sinensis plant (that’s good ol’ tea leave to you!), cedar leaf, dodder seed extract and jojoba oil, the blend promotes healthy hair growth.
According to TCM, beautiful hair begins from the inside; more specifically, from the liver and kidneys. Herbal remedies are still widely used in China today, therapies used by practitioners of Chinese Medicine aim to restore flow and equity. Using a healing approach that creates an internal pathway of balance, wellness, and harmony, Herbal Legend seeks to bridge the gap to introduce an ancient, medicinal system in a modern format that is accessible to all. Herbal Legend products are available online and via select retailers; both shampoos and conditioners are suitable for all hair types.
Shop the Herbal Legend collection online in Hong Kong here.
All images courtesy of Herbal Legend.