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Replacing Animal-Based Remedies with Plants

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Replacing Animal-Based Remedies with Plants

By Courtney Cavaliere, HerbalGram

In many cultures throughout the world, traditional remedies are concocted from animal parts. Because the harvesting of animal parts frequently requires the animal’s death, this medicinal use can have disastrous effects on some animal populations and contribute to the endangerment of some species.

Use of tiger bone and rhino horn in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), for example, contributed to reduced populations of both animals. Many countries instituted bans against tiger- and rhino-based products to stop further exploitation of those species, including China in 1993. Recently, however, facilities in China have begun selling tiger bone wine made from the bodies of farmed tigers (despite the country’s ban). Poaching of both tigers and rhinos has also seemingly increased, spurred largely by medicinal demand.

Some animals are farmed for medicinal and other uses, with the goal of ensuring sustainability. Thousands of bears, for instance, are trapped on Asian bear farms, where they are “milked” for their bile. These bears can spend 10 years or more confined to small cages and suffering repeated, painful bile extraction for the creation of medicinal bear bile products. Turtles and tortoises are also farmed at a massive scale throughout Asia. In addition to being eaten, turtles’ shells are boiled with herbs to create medicinal “turtle jelly.” Evidence indicates that farming of animals does not necessarily take pressure off wild populations, particularly as wild animals are often poached to help restock the farms.

Next: Are animal-derived remedies effective?

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107 comments

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3:20AM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

Thanks for the article.

5:30AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

I have started a fact/arguement/solution sheet so that when proper petitions come on to the sites about practices, such as bear bile harvesting, I can quote these as a comment or helpful alternative solution, along with my signiture, to the target of the petition. Good idea?

1:16PM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

Thank you

7:52AM PST on Mar 2, 2011

thanks for posting the article

1:06AM PST on Dec 3, 2010

Thanks for the info.

2:57AM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

thanks

4:36PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Chinese men must be awfully impotent to feel that they need to murder Rhinos for their horns! It's 2010! Come into the 21st century and try Viagra or Cialis! No one has to die and you can get your apparently un-manly little peckers up!

BTW - There's a group of international veterinarians studying ways to poison Rhino horns w/o hurting the Rhino itself. I hope they find a way SOON so as to end this gruesome and superstitious assault on innocent creatures!

10:07PM PDT on Jul 10, 2010

that was about time, so now were are going to extinct all plants stupid idiots.

9:18PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010

Thanks

7:40AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Humans are the most cruel creatures...

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