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Deer placentas

Chinese: 鹿胎

Pinyin: Lù Tāi

Parts used: Dried placenta

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Salty

Organ affinity: Kidney

Scientific name: Cervus nippon or Cervus elaphus

Use of deer placentas (Lu Tai) 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: Collect placenta and dry.

Dosage: 10-12g

Main actions according to TCM*: Supplies Kidney Yang and Essence.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which deer placentas may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Impotence Infertility Premature aging Fatigue

Key TCM concepts behind deer placentas (Lu Tai)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), deer placentas 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 placentas are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that deer placentas 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 placentas can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Deer placentas also taste Salty. 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 placentas tend to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such deer placentas are thought to target the Kidney. 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.