WHY ELK VELVET ANTLER SUPPLEMENTS?
The term velvet antler refers to the whole antler as it is humanely harvested from male elk at a particular stage of growth – prior to the onset of hardening and calcification. In the velvet stage, the antler is soft and furry.
When harvested in this form, velvet antler is processed through traditional cooking and drying techniques learned from the masters in Korea, China, and Russia. In the Orient, processed antler is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest recorded health systems known, as an ingredient used to promote health and wellness.
There is growing awareness of the benefits of velvet antler for use as a nutritional supplement in North America. More people are becoming convinced of it’s significant effects in promoting well-being and relief for conditions affecting aging, circulation, and some pain symptoms, particularly arthritis.
Many of the nutrients found in velvet antler are important for arthritis sufferers. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, collagen, essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, growth hormones, and growth factors are all vital for growth and maintenance of joints, tissues and synovial fluids.
In 1999, velvet antler was scientifically substantiated by research and clinical studies in compliance with FDA regulations to prove that “velvet antler provides nutritional support for joint structure and function” in people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Though investigation has only just begun in North America, the list of ailments treated with velvet antler in ancient times is quite lengthy. Some of the most important uses were for treatment of wounds, pain, arthritis, inflammation, stress, miscarriage prevention, and to slow the aging process. Active ingredients found in velvet antler are numerous. They include a variety of minerals, trace elements, protein, fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, growth hormones, and growth factors. These ingredients and their use in the human body are many and varied.
Velvet Antler has been used for centuries in the Orient. According to the Oriental Medical Theory it builds the kidneys, which are the storehouse for the body’s deepest and most basic energies. These energies control growth, reproductive functioning, the skeletal system and aspects of circulation and concentration.
Research has been conducted in several areas:
- Hormonal: Velvet antler has been shown to boost testosterone and estrogen levels.
- Blood Building: Velvet antler has been shown to increase production of red blood cells (to a higher degree) and white blood cells (to a lower degree) in tests.
- Stress Protection: Velvet antler helps the body maintain homeostasis against heat, cold and electric shock.
- Stimulates Growth: Velvet antler is an extremely rich, fast growing tissue that contains many growth factors. Elk can grow up to 50 pounds of new bone in approximately two months. Due to its fast rate of growth, antler is being looked at as a model for studies on osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, healing fractures and as a model for cancer studies.
- Aging Retardation: Recent studies in Japan show that velvet reduced signs normally associated with senility; possibly due to its hormonal effects.
- Reduction of Blood Pressure: Blood pressure reduction is due to velvet antler’s ability to increase dilation of the peripheral blood vessels.
- Reduction From Traumatic Injury: Velvet antler is high in calcium and phosphates which aid in the healing of bones. Research has shown that velvet helps to heal neural tissue (nerve) tissue.
Velvet antler can boost hormonal activity, increase oxygen uptake to the brain, liver, and kidneys, decrease the rate of muscle fatigue, and promote muscular growth. However, it should not be used, or should be used cautiously, in people with prostrate problems, heart conditions and lupus.
This information was compiled by Fredrick Obey and taken from his article “Velvet Antler: Traditional Medicine Backed By Modern Research.” 1994 fall issue of North American Elk magazine.