Ping Zhao


Interview Winter 2024

Dr. Ping Zhao

Herbalist, Owner, Authentic Eastern Health L.L.C.

Dr. Ping Zhao came to the United States from Mainland China in 1995 as part of a scholar exchange program with Northampton Community College. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics, a Master's in Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Naturopathy. She is a graduate of David Winston’s two-year clinical herbal training program. She also studied iridology with Dr. Ellen Tart-Jensen and is a certified Iridologist of International Iridology Practitioners Association. She also studied Homeopathic Medicine with CEDH. Dr. Zhao co-founded Authentic Eastern Health L.L.C. (the Chinese name is Ming De Tang) on September 1st, 1999 in Bethlehem, PA. Healing modalities offered include Iridology analysis, homeopathic medicine, acupressure, herbal consultation, Tai Chi and Qigong exercise and other health and wellness classes. She has also been teaching in colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, companies, and community centers for 29 years.

How did you go from studying physics to naturopathy?

Physics is the study of the whole universe’s energy. Well, a human being is a whole universe. In college I wanted to learn human beings' physics, but that didn’t exist. Both my parents are doctors, and from childhood I always wanted to become a doctor. When I came to the United States I felt nature’s energy is the best healing energy for human beings, so I decided to go in this direction and study human beings' energy for healing. I was a single mother and had to support my daughter, so I had to wait, but after she graduated from university in 2004, I could finally take David’s class. Herbs alone seemed too limited, so I studied more, but always nature’s way.

How has David Winston’s training program influenced your healthcare practice?

David’s training is one of the foundations of my practice. David is a very knowledgeable teacher. I graduated in 2006, almost 18 years ago now, and I use David’s knowledge every day. I still join his class every month for continuing education. In my mind, David is one of the best herbalist and I really appreciate him and am thankful to him. In my practice David’s knowledge and his herbal formulas are the most important tool in my toolbox.

You are proficient in so many different modalities. Can you describe your process for determining what is most appropriate in each situation?

I do analysis to find out how people need help. I have a whole approach to treat the whole person. To know a person includes family history; there are a lot of things I find out about clients that help form my recommendations.

In my practice I use people’s meridian system and I also do Iridology analysis, and reflexology to decide which part of the person needs help and has energy blockage. The proposal I give to my clients includes herbs, acupressure, homeopathic medicine, tai chi and qigong practice and reflexology self-massage. So, the healing result is very good.

I touch my patients. My father always told me that if you do not touch your patients, you are not a good doctor. Touching is also very important when people have shoulder problems; when I touch their shoulder I can feel if there's an injury or it’s something else.

Another tool I use is I look at the tongue – in Chinese medicine we use tongue diagnosis. I look at the face, I look at lips and nails and the skin. When I look at skin I also touch it to see if when I push there's a different color change or not.

After the exam and before my clients use any supplements, I want them to change their lifestyle. For those who just drink coffee in the breakfast time I suggest eating some healthy food. Some people never drink water and I suggest they drink water - that kind of thing.


I also have different kinds of therapy and exercise. I have back therapy, shoulder and leg and joint excercises, I have different therapies for different problems that are very simple and easy for clients to bring home to use. For people I think need it, I will point them to go  to a tai chi practice group and to practice tai chi and qigong. If they do not want go to group practice, I have 23 different DVD's I made and three books for them. I also offer private classes but I usually show them the movements, and they can record a short tape to take home.

After that I will recommend herbs or homeopathics. I usually decide which one to use depending on how many other medicines people take. If they take a lot of medicines I have them use homeopathics and if they do not take too many I'll go to herbs. I always go to external use first and if that does not work well enough, I then go to internal.

Acupressure is always recommended, and people can come just two or three times to get benefits. Some of them come every other week or two for years to keep them in good shape and that's OK too. So all these tools are used and changed as needed to treat the whole person, and that's why I have a successful practice.

Sometimes when people complain of a problem, it's not the problem they think it is. I can use different ways to find out if there's some serious problem behind the symptoms. I usually check the meridian system, or I use their feet reflexology points to see the whole-body situation. In one case, when I touched a client’s feet her lung area was really painful and she also had some signs on her skin. I pointed her to see a specialist; she had early stage cancer. I can use the Meridian system to determine if there’s a heart problem. I had a client who came for shoulder pain but I realized his shoulder was not the problem. I suggested he go to see a cardiologist, who found out his artery was 99% blocked, so we saved his life. When I find out there are serious problems I usually just give clients suggestions and point them to see a specialist doctor and I usually have an idea which doctor they should go to see.

David Winston often says that is he could do one thing for everyone it would be to get them to take bitters. How would you answer the question of what one thing would you like to see all people incorporate into their self-care?

Bitters is one of my favorite herbal formulas, too. David always says when you give people bitters they will be 50% better, and that’s true. I myself carry bitters everywhere I go. For digestive issues I use bitters spray. Usually two times will give results. I have so many clients who constantly use bitters and so far all these years I rarely have heard any people have any complaints that bitters do not work. Most of them just love the bitters, which can help support many digestive issues.

What are some of your favorite Herbalist & Alchemist herbs and why?

David has so many good products, but I will list a few of them. Bitters is #1. I use a UT Compound a lot, it really works right away, especially for older woman. I use the Immune Balance formula to support a healthy autoimmune response. I use OsteoHerb for people with a broken bone to reduce the healing time. For external muscle and nerve conditions, my favorite is the Hypericum Oil. St. John's Wort/Sage Ointment is a favorite. It’s been out of stock but  Comfrey/Calendula Ointment also is my favorite for when people need skin support; it works right away.

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