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Deer antler glue

Chinese: 鹿角胶

Pinyin: Lù Jiǎo Jiāo

Parts used: The horn (antlers) of the animal

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): SaltySweet

Organ affinity: Kidney Liver

Scientific name: Cervus nippon or Cervus elaphus

Use of deer antler glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Solid glue prepared from the horn of the animal by decoction and concentration

Dosage: 5 to 10 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood

Primary conditions or symptoms for which deer antler glue may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Impotence Spermatorrhea Abnormal uterine bleeding Hematochezia Hematuria

Common TCM formulas in which deer antler glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) are used*

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Conditions targeted*: Nephrotic syndromeOsteoporosis and others

Lu Jiao Jiao is a king ingredient in You Gui Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In You Gui Wan, Lu Jiao Jiao replenishes the Essence and tonifies the marrow on top of warming and fortifying the source Yang.

Read more about You Gui Wan

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Conditions targeted*: Chronic bronchitisChronic nephritis and others

Lu Jiao Jiao is a deputy ingredient in Zuo Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

In Zuo Gui Wan, Lu Jiao Jiao is sweet, salty, and slightly warming. It entering the Governing vessel to tonify the Essence and Blood and stimulate the Yang. It pushes the action of the formula even further toward the Essence tonification.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan

Key TCM concepts behind deer antler glue (Lu Jiao Jiao)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), deer antler glue are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yang Tonics are generally used in combination with a small amount of Yin tonics. If Yin is deficient, neither Qi nor Yang herbs alone will be effective. The most common symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency are low libido and impotence. It is worth mentioning that another very effective remedy against Yang Deficiency is regular exercise.

Furthermore deer antler glue are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that deer antler glue tend to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess(because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition deer antler glue can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Deer antler glue also taste Salty and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Salty ingredients like deer antler glue tend to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such deer antler glue are thought to target the Kidney and the Liver. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.