Chinese Medicine: Deer Antler

What is Deer Antler and How is it Important?

Deer antler can be seen as being a part of Chinese medicine since around 100 A.D. but the frequency of the use didn’t become a predominant ingredient until the Ming Dynasty era. It was at this time that deer farms were actually used for cultivation. The velvet and the antler itself are both used for various reasons.

The antler of a deer is a bone like component. It is rich in specific gelatins from the proteins that make up the antler. The same can be said about the tortoise shell. The two of these ingredients are often combined to make a firm gelatin. Boiling the deer antler releases the medicinal properties and proteins so it is primarily boiled and used in tonics. The velvety antler is sold in several forms but usually they are boiled first and then sliced or pulverized into a powder.

How is Deer Antler Used in Chinese Medicine?

Let’s take a moment to understand the aspects of the deer antler and how the components can directly help the body:

1. The medicinal properties of the gelatin made from the deer antler nourish the spleen and kidney

2. The glucosamine and chondroitin aspects in the deer antler help in reducing pain and inflammation in the joints.

3. The large amounts of calcium found within the deer antler can not only prevent conditions such as osteoporosis but it can strengthen the bones significantly if symptoms are already noticeable.

4. The collagens also help with joint health as well as repairing the connective tissues.

5. Arthritis and tendonitis are both relieved due to the anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Bone marrow in the human body has also been known to be significantly nourished by deer antler. This helps to eliminate the threat of marrow diseases or problems. Monoacetyldiglycerides are molecules found in deer antler that in proven studies have shown to stimulate stem cell production within our bone marrow.

Now, let’s take a look at the various conditions that deer antler in Chinese medicine has often been used in centuries past and currently in modern uses.

1. Cytotoxic to cells that carry leukemia.

2. Amplifies erythropoietin in plasma, erythrocyte counts and hemoglobin in the blood.

3. Stimulates optimal heart, liver, kidney and blood vessel function.

4. Improves mental capacity

5. Increases physical strength/stamina.

6. Repairs a damaged liver

7. Increases fertility

8. Positive benefits in metabolism function.


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