The medicine with 2000 years of history
When it comes to organic health supplements, elk antler velvet is, by no means, a new player on the scene. Its use dates back thousands of years and can be traced back to many different countries and cultures. It’s only up until more recently that its health benefits have been cast into the mainstream. The popularity of elk velvet antler has grown exponentially due to its potency and ability to treat a wide variety of different health concerns, with little to no side effects (especially in comparison to its prescription medication counterparts).
Chinese Silk Scroll
One of the first appearances of elk velvet antler as a health care remedy occurred when a silk scroll was discovered from a Han Tomb in Hunan Province, China. The scroll was believed to be approximately 2000 years old and suggested that people from this era had, in fact, used velvet antler as a natural health care remedy. The scroll also pointed to other treatments which had been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, anemia, vertigo, amnesia, insomnia and pain.
In the Russian culture, beginning in the 15th Century, velvet antler became a coveted treatment for a variety of different conditions. The Russian people began harvesting elk around the 1840s and referred to their antlers fondly as “Horns of Gold.” The 1900s marked a time when much research and study took place to discover more knowledge into the potential velvet antler held as a natural healing remedy. A 1930 Russian study suggested that velvet antler may be an effective treatment for bone fractures, functional issues of the stomach & intestines, hypertensive vascular disease and vegetative neuroses.
Velvet antler was highly regarded as a contributor to sexual well-being. Chinese tradition correlated velvet antler as an aphrodisiac. Although a popular feature of the substance, this finding has been regarded as unfortunate because it has led to the substance being disregarded for treatment of other, more serious medical conditions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has utilized velvet antler in therapeutic formulas for centuries and its use follows ginseng in terms of popularity in these formulations. Chinese believe it fortifies the “Yang” and increases flow of Chi, or natural energy, through the kidneys.
Other Studies and Findings
A 1936 study found velvet antler was an effective treatment convulsions associated with colds, arthritis, fever and vertigo. It was also found to speed up the healing of wounds and was shown to improve appetite, lessen nervousness and increase patient capacity for work.
A 1974 study by Nikitina found the substance was useful when used to treat anemia, fatigue, heart failure, vascular system malfunctions and also aided in faster healing of wounds.
A 1981 study showed velvet antler was an effective treatment in cases of epilepsy, gout, anemia, headaches and ulcers. It was also suggested to relieve hypertension, dissolve bladder stones and, again, improve the rate at which wounds healed.
North America and the United States
In 1999, scientific findings supported by clinical research in compliance with FDA regulations, showed velvet antler’s beneficial effects in treating arthritis. Evidence also suggested the substance delivers relief in the form of stimulation, anti-aging, protective and rejuvenating effects as well as beneficial effects in the blood and circulatory system.
Within North America, physicians opted for velvet antler to treat conditions such as chronic fatigue, impotence, arthritis, fibromyalgia and depression. Velvet antler has also been used to delay the aging process, increase immune system function, increase energy & stamina and decrease the level of bodily inflammation caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, there were 1,917 elk farms throughout the United States. Texas led with 354 farms, and Wisconsin and Minnesota were second and third.
Prior to European settlement, it is estimated that approximately 10 million elk roamed what is now the United States and parts of Canada. Elk adapted to and resided in nearly all ecosystems except the tundra, desert conditions and the Gulf Coast region.