Report on Shen Min Side Effects and Usage by AskDocWeb

About Shen Min

If you’ve used Shen Min, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell someone considering using this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

This product is not recommended.

What is Shen Min?

Shen Min is a product manufactured and sold by Biotech Corporation for those suffering from hair loss. The company appears to be introducing Chinese medicine to the Western World.

Biotech Corporation claims their success rate is over 90% and that makes them look like a scam because the most powerful drug on the market for hair loss, Propecia, only works in 83% of users.

The company website also claims that their product lowers LDL cholesterol and is used as a tonic for the kidney’s and liver to aid excretion. That sounds good but we found no proof of that.

What are the ingredients in Shen Min?

Shen Min contains a blend of Chinese herbs. A serving size is 2 tablets and there are 30 servings per container. According to their website the ingredients in the Shen Min formula are:

Amount per Serving:

  • Folate (as folic acid) 800mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid (as Dicalcium pantothenate) 200mg
  • Biotin 1400mcg
  • Iodine (from kelp) 150mcg
  • Zinc (as zinc monomethionine) 15mg
  • He Shou Wu 12:1 Extract 450mg
  • He Shou Wu Root Powder (polygonum mutiflorum) 870mg
  • Isoflavones (from soy and kudzu) 20mg
  • Saw Palmetto Berries Extract (sabal serratta) 320mg
  • Silica (from colloidals) 40mg
  • BioPerine® Standardized Extract (piper nigrum)* 5mg

*BioPerine® is a registered trademark of the SABINSA Corporation.

Other ingredients: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Stearic Acid, Magnesium
Stearate, Pharmaceutical Glaze.

There was no mention of the drug called Minoxidil but while checking out Shen Min we came across the following warning letter sent to them by the FDA. We’ve highlighted a few points by making the text red.

FDA Warning Letter

Department of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
New England District Office


1 Montvale Ave
Stoneham, MA 02180
Telephone: 781-279-1675
FAX: 781-279-1742

July 27, 1999

Gregory Kelley, President
Biotech Corp
107 Oakwood Dr
Glastonbury, CT 06033

Ref. No. NWE-27-99

Dear Mr Kelley:

This letter is in reference to the distribution, promotion, and marketing of “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” and “Shen Min Topical” Solution by your firm. During an inspection of your facility located at the above address on May 25, 1999, our investigator determined that you are responsible for the development of the product formulations, designing of labeling and promotional material, and distribution for these products.

According to the label, “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” contains, among other ingredients, minoxidil, retinyl palmitate, saw palmetto, biotin, panthenol, tocopherol acetate, trichopeptide, he shou wu, and jojoba oil. The labeling, including promotional material, contains the following statements such as “Minoxidil is well known as one of the most successful topical serums available today, ” “Retinyl Palmitate is scientifically proven and patented to stimulate follicular embryonic activity,” “DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Apply 15-20 drops directly onto the scalp as needed in the hair loss area,” and “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil features our proprietary Bio-Vector Lipid Complex delivery system … It is controlled-release to ensure continuous stimulation of the follicles.”

A “technical sheet” for “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” contains statements such as “To … enhance hair growth,” and “Shen Min, Activator is a revolutionary blend of natural nutrceutical [sic] components plus minoxidil the well known hair growth serum.”

According to the label, “Shen Min Topical” Solution contains “powerful nutrients time-released directly onto the scalp. ” The labeling for the product contains statements such as “FOR THINNING HAIR, and “…assist in stimulating embryonic follicle metabolism.…” A “technical sheet” of “Shen Min Topical” Solution contains statements such as”…helps to enhance hair growth…” and “It is designed to treat the effects of Alopecia…”

Based on the intended uses described above, “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” and “Shen Min Topical” Solution are drugs (section 201(g) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the Act)) and are subject to the final rule covering Hair Grower and Hair Loss Prevention Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use (Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR) Part 310.527). Under that rule, no active ingredients are generally recognized as safe and effective to grow hair or prevent hair loss. Therefore, “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” and “Shen Min Topical” Solution are “new drugs” (section 201(p) of the Act). A “new drug” may not be marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application (NDA) (section 505(a) of the Act). In addition, these products are also misbranded (section 502(f)(1) of the Act), because they do not bear adequate directions for the indication noted above.

Further, “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” and “Shen Min Topical” Solution are misbranded (section 502(o) of the Act) because they have not been drug listed as required (section 510(j) of the Act).

The violations cited in this letter are not intended to bean all-inclusive statement of all the violations that may exist for products marketed by your firm. It is your responsibility to assure that all your drug products are in compliance with federal laws and regulations. Federal agencies are advised on the issuance of all Warning Letters about drugs and devices so that they may take this information into account when considering the award of contracts. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory action without further notice. Such actions include a seizure and/or an injunction.

We have reviewed the letters dated June 16, 1999, and June 21, 1999, prepared by your attorneys, that you provided to our investigator. Upon review and as stated earlier in this warning letter, the United States Food and Drug Administration has determined that the “Shen Min Activator with Minoxidil” and “Shen Min Topical” Solution are, based on their intended uses, drug products as defined at section 201(g) of the Act. Further, they are new drugs as defined at section 201(p) of the Act and they are misbranded.

Therefore, within fifteen (15) working days of your receipt of this letter, please notify this office in writing of the specific steps you will take to correct the noted violations. If corrective action cannot be completed within fifteen (15) working days, state the reason for the delay and time frame within which corrections will be completed. Your reply should be sent to Mr David K. Elder, Compliance Officer, at the address noted above. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mr Elder at 781-279- 1675, extension 125.

John R. Marzilli
District Director

End of FDA letter.

That warning letter was sent in 1999 and they are still in business. It seems that they took out the most effective ingredient, minoxidil, so that they could continue to sell their product.

Ordering Shen Min

This product is not recommended.

Shen Min Feedback

Subj: Stay away from Shen Min!
Date: 5/14/2007
I have used Shen Min for women. Stay away from it. I have to say that it worked for my hair, which stopped falling and became thicker. However, it thinned my blood to the point that after the simplest blood test, doctors could not stop the hemorrhage. Unfortunately, at the time that I was taking Shen Min I had an emergency and had to go through surgery. My blood was so thin that it almost cost my life. A month after I quit taking Shen Min, everything was back to normal. Do yourself a favor please: Stay away from Shen Min!


Subj: Shen Min
Date: 2/17/2009
Hi, I have been looking for a new product to add to my regimen in combatting hair loss. You do not recommend Shen Min but a lot of other web sites do. And the FDA letter is almost 10 years old and it is about the topical solution and not the oral tablets. Either your website is not updated daily, you gave up on the product after you found out about the FDA violation, or the product really is a scam. I’m not sure anymore.


AskDocWeb: We only recommend products that we believe in and Shen Min is not one of them.

Subj: Liver complications
Date: 6/27/2009
I’m am 21 years and in great health and used this product to seek results in stronger hair and nails, so I started taking the 3 a day oral supplements…two weeks into using it I began to have lower abdominal pains. Upon consulting a physician he read the label aloud to me (something I should have done anyway) and brought to my attention that it forewarns the buyer of possible liver complications! He said it coincides with the complaints I had about my back, since it was in the area of my liver and kidneys. so I had to way my options; bad liver or good hair and nails? lol well it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to know that good hair and nails aren’t gonna do you any good if you die from liver problems. This may just be my experience, but for the unsure potential buyers . . .Stay Away!


Subj: Symptoms of UTI
Date: 7/22/2009
Gives the symptoms of UTI. after taking it, went away.


Subj: Turn to other options
Date: 11/3/2009
I am using Shen Min oral tabs at this time; I can no longer tolerate ROgaine. So I must turn to other options. While I have had no serious SAs in the month I have taken the tabs, I am aware that the ingredients could present some digestive/hormonal issues for some. I have noticed some slight stomach queasiness at times. I would suggest serious research on the ingredients and your tolerance before you use the product. And for general hair and nails, start with yr diet and consult your dermatologist. Don’t self medicate.


Subj: Shen-Min
Date: 11/17/2009
I started taking 3 pills a day this past June after the birth of my son. I had hair loss from the pregnancy. I noticed my skin and hair looked great, but about a month into it, my back and upper abdomen started to really hurt. I read the bottle and noticed it had warings of liver damage. I stopped taking it, and my hair started to fall out again, so I took only one pill a day. The pain got worse and also my breast and arm lymph nodes started to hurt and swell. I am currently being tested for cancer!!! I will let you know the outcome. DO NOT EVEN think about taking this!


Read more feedback

Last post: March 15, 2015

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