Rhino Horn Powder Offers No Health Benefits

There are many misguided “miracle cures” associated with Rhino horn powder. Over the years, people have erroneously believed the horn powder has the power to cure fevers, hallucinations, vomiting and even “devil possession”. And model Elle Macpherson recently caught major flack for suggesting that consumption of horn powder from the endangered rhino is beneficial to one’s skin complexion. 

Well, research has proven otherwise.

A few years back, researchers who examined the components of rhino horn determined that the main component is keratin, the same material found in human fingernails, toenails and hair. Keratin doesn’t have any medicinal properties — ala, there is no benefit in consuming it. Another study, this one conducted by Swiss pharmaceutical group Hoffman-La Roche, found that “rhino horn had no effect on the human body whatsoever, good or bad.” [source]

Despite this, rhino horn powder is reportedly sold on the black market for $10,0000-$30,0000 per pound.

In large part because of the bizarre beliefs associated with the powder from the animals’ horn, rhinos are on the verge of extinction. According to the Honolulu Zoo website, “Between 1970 and 1992 the black rhino populations were reduced by 96%, reaching a low of 2,410 animals in 1995.”

The killing of endangered rhinos because of ancient traditional beliefs is a fixable problem. Consumers buying rhino horn powder simply need to be educated as to the damage they are doing and shown they are extinguishing a species — all the while wasting their money on a product that carries no medical benefit.

In the video below, a scientist — who studied rhino horn — explains that it has no medical value.

photo credit: wikimedia commons


William C
William C7 months ago


W. C
W. C7 months ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine


LMj Sunshine


Andrea A.
Andrea A5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Wanda Kennington
Wanda Kennington5 years ago

I will save my nail clippings and grind them up too. In these hard times surely I will be able to find some twits who will pay me lots of money if I tell them that it is ground up rhino horn. Why poachers go to the length of killing rhinos, I do not understand. The people who sell these products are very capable of conning buyers with some other powder. I think that the horn is more often used as a dagger handle for Middle eastern men. Surely that could be counterfeit as well.

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Solution and great Stimulus idea:

Everyone in America should save all their fingernail clippings, send them to a factory which grinds them to dust and flood the Chinese market with fake 'rhino powder.' The drop in price would hurt poachers more than anything. Plus it would earn some cash for us to help balance our huge deficit with China!

Kathy Javens
Kathy Javens7 years ago

Anything for the almighty dollar!!!!!

Jean S.
Jean Sleigh7 years ago

Some interesting comments and questions... But seriously, to think that 'we' can just show users how their demand is affecting nature is naive... they don't care, where is africa? what is a rhino? you'll be surprised how stupid people are... And Lyn, thanks for your story, it's heartbreaking and frightening... poachers with helicopters... WHO FUNDS THEM??? Govs? Individuals? Medical companies? Buy your own chopper with gun mounted on and follow them! (no rather don't...) I hope you saved the baby and manage to buy more soon. Strength to you... (Jean in Cpt)

Mervi R.
Mervi R7 years ago

The stupity of man... will it ever end...?