History of Hen Sen Herbs

Hen Sen Chin in his first shop in Chinatown Seattle

Hen Sen Chin in his first shop in Chinatown Seattle

Hen Sen Chin's father was born in Bellingham and worked as a cook for a wealthy Bellingham businessman. His father returned China to remarry after his first wife died. Hen Sen Chin was born in 1923 in the village of Tai Shan District, Kwangtung, China, the son of the second wife. 

He immigrated to the United States at the age of 10 to join his older brothers. He settled in Seattle and worked very hard as a teenager in various jobs in Chinatown until the time he decided to become a herbalist. 

He went back to Hong Kong and Taiwan to study at the Ling Nam Institute of Chinese Medicine, where he received instruction from the dean, Mar Lai Kong. He became the youngest student to graduate from the prestigious herb school.

Ling Nam Institute 1

Ling Nam Institute - students and the teacher.
See more images of Ling Nam Institute

Chin practiced in a public clinic in Hung Hom in Hong Kong and later in mainland China. He returned to the U.S. at the end of Word War II. After opening a practicing in San Francisco and New York, he eventually returned to Seattle to join his family and establish his career here.

Hen Sen Herbs opened in 1951 at the corner of 8th and King St in Chinatown.

Though not a licensed doctor in the United States, Hen Sen Chin helped establish the credibility of traditional Chinese medicine with a vigorous practice treating Chinese and American patients with ailments ranging from the common cold to chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes.

Read old newspaper articles Hen Sen Chin was featured in.