Antler Velvet in Chinese Medicine
Documented literature relating to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), that dates to well before the birth of Christ, reports and acclaims the health promoting properties of velvet antler (immature antlers of male deer).
Some of the main concepts of TCM include:
- The idea of pairs or opposites in balance expressed as Yin and Yang (Yin is the rest phase where energy or Qi is replenished while Yang is the active phase that uses up Qi)
- Qi, the vital energy or life force that flows around the body (Qi is both energy and matter)
- Although the concept (name and location) of most body organs is similar in TCM and Western medicine, in TCM they may be thought to have a different function
- Disease may be caused by external factors (wind, cold, fire, damp, summer heat and dryness) or internal factors (joy, anger, anxiety, thought, sorrow, fear and fright)
Principals of TCM involve supplementation of factors [collectively called the Yin and Yang] in nature that restores the body to a natural balance and allows the natural defence mechanisms of the body to effect healing more or less on its own.
TCM treatment is based on the restoration and maintenance of energy balances with the human body, emphasizing the organic or functional relationship between the health of each part of the body and the whole body, a holistic approach to health.
Consistent with the holistic approach of TCM, velvet has long been used to treat a variety of health problems and as a general tonic to restore balance, strengthen the body and promote overall wellness. A TCM practitioner traditionally prescribes velvet. TCM practitioners usually cut thin slices of velvet from a stick of dried velvet and combine the slices with other natural medicine products. Patients usually prepare a soup from the prescription that is consumed.
There are many studies related to velvet antler reported in the scientific literature, however many of the older papers produced in Asia were not controlled by the same standards of reporting required by Western Medicine and some of the concepts of TCM like ‘well being’ are difficult for Western Medicine to measure.
In recent times there have been significant additions to the scientific literature on deer velvet from researchers, particularly those in New Zealand, Korea, China, Canada, USA, Australia and Russia.
Available literature reviews generally suggest that some benefits of consumption of deer velvet have been identified although more research is needed. It is important to note that TCM does not encourage uninformed use of velvet antler (or any of its other remedies). Health Benefits Claimed by TCM for Velvet Antler TCM claims for the use of deer velvet are much broader than the range of effects suggested by completed western research.
- Systematic exhaustion
- Lower back pain
- Weak pulse
- Low white cell counts
- Regulate the adrenal cortex
- Regulate energy metabolism
- Promote sexual function
- Promote growth
- Strengthen resistance