Yunnan Baiyao Group Company Ltd, one of the largest Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Manufacturers, originated in the year 1902 in Yunnan Province, situated in South Western China.
A relatively hilly area of China, sharing its western and southern borders with Tibet, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, Yunnan Province has long enjoyed fame as ‘The Chinese Kingdom of Medicinal and Healing Herbs’. The name ‘Yunnan’ translates as ‘Southern Cloud’.
In the year 1902, which formed part of the Qing Dynasty, Mr Qu Huanzhang, a highly respected practitioner of Chinese Medicine, who came from Jiangchuan County in the Yunnan Province, formulated, from various natural herbs, a healing product which was originally known as ‘Qu Huanzhang Panacea’, and has become known as Yunnan Baiyao today. The name ‘Baiyao’ means ‘white powder’ referring to the original form of the product.
The product immediately proved its effectiveness in the treatment of open wounds, muscular strains, bruising and arthritis and invigorating blood circulation. Its success ensured that its fame spread rapidly, and soon it became a household name initially in Yunnan Province and then spreading throughout the rest of China.
By the 1930s it was a product, in powder form, which could be found on the shelves in many Chinese homes.
In 1937 Mr Qu donated 30,000 bottles of his medicine to the Chinese army who were engaged in the fighting of the Japanese invasion of China in the Sino – Japanese War, where its medicinal powers were credited with the healing of many wounds and treatment of severe muscular strain. The product proved so effective that from that time on it became part of the regular kit of the Chinese armed forces, and remains so until this day.
Seeing the value of this medicine, and in an effort to secure the product for its own use, the Guo Ming Dang, being the Chinese Government at the time, tried to obtain the formula from Mr Qu, who refused to reveal its ingredients.
Mr Qu was then imprisoned and tortured for the formula, which he steadfastly refused to hand over. He eventually died in captivity in 1938, at the age of 58, but not before secretly passing the details of the formula over to his wife. She, in order to guard the formula, closed down their shops and ceased formulation of the product.
On the fall of the Guo Ming Dang government to the Communist Party in 1949, the new government assisted Mrs Qu in re-establishing the business. She was so grateful for this that, on her death, she left the formula to the government. Following the growth and spread of the Company, it was listed as a private entity on the Chinese Stock Exchange in 1993
From its very humble beginnings, Yunnan Baiyao Group Co. Ltd, has developed into a massive operation, though still operating solely in the natural medicine field. By the year 2003, the Group turnover exceeded R140 billion..
Yunnan Baiyao Group is still based in Yunnan Province, in its main city of Kunming, where its manufacturing / blending / packing operations are carried out in its highly sophisticated multi-storey plants. These plants work in highly sterile conditions, with workers and visitors alike having to pass through numerous sterile processes before being allowed entrance to any of its operations. For the past ten years, Yunnan Baiyao products have been listed in China as one of the few First Class National Protected TCM products in the country.
Recently, Yunnan Baiyao have developed over 80,000 hectares of covered growing space under greenhouse conditions. These have automatic climate control in addition to regular soil testing and analysis. This has been done in order to ensure the consistency of the individual ingredients. Prior to this, variations in climatic conditions and soil composition had, on occasion, led to certain ingredients developing stronger that others in some years. Quality Control and Consistency are bywords of the Yunnan Baiyao operation.
Yunnan Baiyao has in recent years started to spread both its reputation and sales outside of China. It has consistently had a strong presence in other Asian countries in addition to China, being particularly strong in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. It has now spread further field and is now sold in numerous Middle Eastern countries as well as USA, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and now South Africa.
Natural medicines and associated health products are the fastest growing products in the Western world today. Due to its long history of success, its proven effectiveness and its strong marketing back up, Yunnan Baiyao stands in the forefront of this growth.