Velvet Deer Antler:
Sex Enhancer and Anti-aging Medicine
The following excerpts are from.
"Journal of Longevity Research"
by Earl Mindell, R.Ph, Ph.D.
Velvet deer antler, the aphrodisiac of Asian rulers, not only provided them with greater sexual powers, it also helped them live healthier and longer lives than the people they ruled. - by Earl Mindell, R.Ph, Ph.D.
When my friend, Bernie, told me he swallows an extract of velvet deer antler for increased sexual libido, I laughed. Who in the Western world ever heard of such a thing? Certainly not me, a pharmacist. But because I couldn't let Bemic get one up on me in the virility department, curiosity made me look into whether or not consuming it could make a difference in the way a man responds sexually. I discovered the semi-hard material of male deer antler has been taken on an oral basis to strengthen overall bodily functions for at least 2,000 years, and that it is an integral part of Chinese medicine. Moreover, women can benefit, too. International master herbalist Ron Teeguarden says it is important that velvet deer antler not be confused with cattle or goat horn. "Male deer antler is a remarkable substance." he says. 'It is the only body appendage in the advanced mammal kingdom that, when injured, can regenerate itself." In this ability lies the power of velvet antler extract. Chinese scientists experimenting with how deer antler extract supports life at the cellular level suspect it is able to prevent genetic damage and extend cellular longevity. Typically, mammal cell lines duplicate themselves about 60 times before they die off. But research doctors at the respected Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing have found the nutrients in male deer antler will promote cell replication up to 180 times! 'This is probably why deer antler creates the sensation of rejuvenation when taken by both men and women," notes Teeguarden. 'Body cells are actually nourished and kept alive longer by the substances making up the antler. Velvet deer antler contains a variety of complex elements, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein.
When consumed by humans, the special combination of nutrients in antler has been reported to affect metabolism, strengthen muscle contractions, improve nerve impulses, regulate blood pressure, and treat arthritis." Pulverized forms of velvet deer antler have been used for so long for health purposes in China that it is on a very special list of natural medicinal supplements known as the 'Superior Drug' category. Teeguarden stresses that only natural substances with no ill side effects can make it to such a lofty level in Chinese medicine. Unlike some natural animal and plant substances, antler extract is safe to take on a long term basis.
Its use has spread throughout Asia to maintain youthfulness, build sexual libido, and ward off serious illness. I am excited over the prospects of recommending this safe yet unique natural substance to my clients. Many are over 55, approaching a point in life where they will begin to lose muscle mass and immune efficiency. If a way ran be found to slow this aging process, I might be able to forestall or even prevent serious illness in them. After all, if you can grow older with the same quality of life you had in your thirties and forties, there is no need to dread old age! Discovering that deer antler supports and strengthens the body at the cellular level has blazed a new path of medical understanding for me. Since most accounts indicate that velvet deer antler adds power to body functions, it probably did, in fact, help ancient Chinese war lords satisfy their harems, as the stories are told on scrolls that have been found in ancient tombs of that land. Yet as a pharmacist, I needed scientific verification. When I began perusing modem research studies, I discovered velvet deer antler contains a protein made from 68 amino acids (Zhang 1992). As cells need amino acids to function as living units, my interest was sparked. But Teeguarden points out that the ectosaponins and pantocrines present in velvet deer antler also contain the building blocks for adequate hormone production and function. Both men and women will benefit from a substance that helps support and balance the endocrine system after mid-life when body organs begin to slow down. Teeguarden suspects this is why the extract of deer antler makes older people feel revitalized. The antler of the male deer is made up of an outside velvet that is similar to skin; It has blood vessels, cartilage, and marrow. The special fact that deer antlers grow so quickly and are regenerated each year is connected to the annual cycle of testosterone levels from the deer endocrine system (Suttie 1995). But the antler must be collected at just the right time of year to get benefit from the amino acids and mucopolysaccarides. It is important to ensure that you use the most concentrated and potent antler extract that has been harvested only in the early summer months when antler has grown two or three velvet-covered spikes. By fall, the antler begins to grow hard and bony, losing it's nutrient powers. Reputable deer farms do not kill the animals for the spikes. Rather, they continue using the same deer over their natural life span. Moreover, there is a special portion of the antler that is most "potent." Researchers have discovered the most potent rejuvenation nutrients are to be found in the new tips of each spike. Chemists analyzing the antlers agree that the most active amino acids, mucopolysaccarides, ectosaponins, and pantocrines do in fact, come from the tip of the antler. "Basic chemical components of antler spikes will prolong the qualities of youth if taken over a long period of time," says Teeguarden who spends six months of each year studying herbal medicine in China. Teeguarden says it takes about 30 antlers from deer to make one ounce of 'tips." While people like Bernie rave about its ability to improve sexual function, there is scientific evidence that deer antler can affect heart performance in a positive manner. For instance, a 1979 study by veterinarian Donald H. Clifford showed that deer antler can increase heart stroke volume.
Potent Heart Medicine
Ten dogs were examined before and after injections of deer antler extract. While heart rate, general cardiac output, pulse pressure, and arterial pressure were not effected, stroke volume was consistently increased in a significant manner during observation of the animals under study. Talk about a virility factor! In babies and young children, velvet deer antler has been known to strengthen a faint heart sound and a weak pulse as well as elevating low blood pressure (Chang 1986). Indeed, when researchers in China added velvet deer antler to the diet of mice, there was an invigorating effect. Protein and RNA levels were increased in the rodents' livers, offering strong evidence that their overall liver function was increased in a positive manner (Wang 1990). Velvet deer antler may also be able to ease the degeneration of connective tissue as the body grows older. Research has shown that disorders of sugar metabolism have an important role in rheumatic and degenerative joint diseases. Usually, corticosteroids as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to arthritis patients. However, there are side effects that accompany these drugs, including ulcers and immune impairment. Yet, Z.Q. Zhang published evidence in 1994 that deer antler has strong anti-inflammatory tendencies--without the negative side effects of traditional anti-arthritis medicine! German research has also supported that key components such as glucosamine sulfate, glucuronic acid, and glycosarninoglycan in deer antler have an anti-inflammatory effect on cartilage and body tissue (Setnik 1001). More arthritis research is needed, but the evidence is intriguing. Antler extracts may one day become accepted in the West as an alternative treatment for degenerative joint and cartilage conditions. Aging does not have to be dreaded. Velvet deer antler is a potent anti-aging medicine that I have begun to recommend to clients. I'll provide further updates in a future report. If you start using velvet deer antler, please let me know how it has helped you. Write to me in care of the Journal of Longevity Research.
Bensky, D. (1986). Chinese herbal Medicine materia Medica,
Seattle, WA; Eastland Press, pp 483-485
Chang, H. (1986). Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese
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Clifford, D. (1979). 'Can an extract of deer antlers alter
cardiovascular dynamics?' American Journal of Chinese
Sctnik, R. (1991). 'Antireactive properties of glucosamine
sulfate.' Arsneim, Forsch..41(l): 157-61
Suttie, J. (1995). "Role of steroids in antler growth of red deer
stags.' journal of Experimental Zoology, Feb. 1, 271(2): 120-30
Teeguarden, R. (1992). Chinese Herbal Tonics, Los Angeles,
CA: Japan Publications.
Wang, B. (1990). 'Effect of polyamines isolated from pilose
antler (PASPA) on RBNA polymerase activities in mouse liver.'
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica, 25(9): 652-657
Zhang, Z. (1992). 'Purification and partial characterization of
anti-inflammatory peptide from pilose antler of Cervus nippon
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