An IIPM Initiative
Wednesday, June 23, 2021




Issue Dated: April 22, 2007
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STRIPES, GRIPES & SOME TCM TCM uses a lot of animal products in its medicinal concoctions. Tiger bones and products, musk deer pods, shark fins, sea horses, rhinoceros horn and bear bile are all used by some TCM practitioners to allegedly cure diseases ranging from the mundane to the exotic. However, many critics of TCM within China say that a lot of beliefs within TCM with respect to animal products is based on superstitious beliefs. For instance, the assumption that a powerful and virile animal like the tiger will bestow its powers on those that consume its remains or the belief that shark fin soup will cure or prevent cancer just because sharks don’t get cancer, are not backed by any scientific study or research. Tiger bone, for instance, is not too different in composition from some other less exotic animals. An interesting substitute being offered by some TCM practitioners is the bone of a mole rat of sorts found in the Chinese mountains called the sailong, and is already on the TCM market in China.

However, irrespective of the species, exploitation of this nature, runs against the very grain of traditional healing methods in China which maintain that for living a healthy life it is important to live a life of balance, in harmony with the laws of nature. Some of the healthiest and fittest people, not just in China but the world are the monks of Shaolin, who happen to be vegetarians, and according to surveys from across the world, people from eastern and southern Europe make love most often. Neither of these two groups need a tiger penis soup to keep them going and nor should any of us.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017