Body parts of the tiger as a human medicine (a list)

Bottle of tiger bone wine
Bottle of tiger bone wine. Photo: PoC.

Hundreds of different, almost always, medicinal uses are made of various parts of the tiger's body. Here are some examples.

  1. The fat is thought to be a tonic for rheumatism;
  2. The fat is prized as an aphrodisiac;
  3. The flesh gives courage and strength to those who eat it;
  4. The floating collarbone or clavicle is believed to be a powerful charm against evil;
  5. The heart is eaten to give strength, courage and cunning;
  6. The brain is mixed with oil and rubbed on the body to cure laziness and acne;
  7. The penis is meant to be a sexual tonic;
  8. The skin is valued as a trophy and can be worn as clothing as a symbol of wealth;
  9. The bones are a treatment of ulcers, malaria, typhoid, dysentery, burns, arthritis and rheumatism;
  10. The bones are also a treatment for impotence and a lowered libido;
  11. The humerus bone i.e. the upper front leg bone has the most potent of all healing powers. The bones are ground down to a powder. Then, used in pills, plasters and as a part of remedies containing other ingredients. The dosage for a tiger bone remedy to cure rheumatic pain is 3 to 6 grams a day. This works out at between 6.5 and 13 pounds of bone annually and it is always used in wine;
  12. The whiskers are used to soothe toothaches and as protective charms;
  13. In general terms, tiger parts are thought to heal the liver and kidneys and to cure ulcers, nightmares, fevers, headaches, joint pains, toothache, boldness and epilepsy;
  14. Tiger bile is used to treat convulsions in children;
  15. The blood is used to strengthen the body's constitution and to build willpower;
  16. Eating tiger brain can help treat laziness and pimples;
  17. Eating a tiger's claws can be a sedative sleeplessness;
  18. Eating a tiger's eye balls is regarded as a treatment for epilepsy, malaria, nervousness, fevers in children, convulsions and cataracts;
  19. Eating the fat of a tiger is prescribed for dog bites, haemorrhoids and vomiting;
  20. A tiger's faeces is a cure for boils, alcoholism and haemorrhoids;
  21. The flesh of a tiger can be used to treat nausea, malaria, to bring vitality back to the stomach and spleen;
  22. A tiger's feet when eaten are used to ward off evil spirits;
  23. When a tiger's fur is burnt it drives away centipedes;
  24. The tip of a tiger's nose, that is the nose leather can be used to treat bites and superficial wounds and to treat epilepsy and convulsions in children;
  25. The skin can also be used to cure fever caused by ghosts and mental illness;
  26. The stomach of a tiger is prescribed to cure stomach upsets and people;
  27. The teeth are prescribed for genital sores, asthma and rabies;
  28. The tail is used to cure skin diseases and that is it.


What you think about that? Pretty well every part of a tiger can cure pretty well every ailment that the human can suffer from. Is there any science to support these beliefs? To the best of my knowledge, there isn't except for one study which took place in 2017. It was published online on January 31, 2017 on the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes Of Health website. It is entitled Traditional Chinese Medicine Bionic Tiger Bone Powder for the Treatment of AI-Associated Musculoskeletal Symptoms.

It was conducted at Oncology Department, Guang'anmen Hospital, No. 5, Beixiange, Xi Cheng District, Beijing 100053, China, by eight Chinese employees, it seems, of the said hospital. Can we trust it?

The study investigated as to whether tiger bone was an effective and safe treatment for the prevention of Aramatase inhibitors (AI) - associated musculoskeletal symptoms. They concluded that it was effective and safe in prevention of this condition. Tiger bone is used to treat bone disease in China as well as the items listed above.

Specifically, the study confirmed that postmenopausal women with AI induced arthralgia demonstrated an improvement in joint pain, stiffness and functional ability after 12 weeks of tiger bone therapy.

A Google search found no other study supporting the use of tiger body parts as medicinal treatments. I have to conclude that almost all (if not all) the treatments listed above are ineffective, but no doubt the patients believe that they are effective and therefore they may do some good for that reason.

The use of tiger body parts in Traditional Chinese medicine is having a devastating effect upon the conservation of the tiger and has done so for many years. Until there is a change in attitude by predominantly the Chinese towards Traditional Chinese medicine then it is my belief that there is little chance in saving the tiger in the wild over the next 50 years or less.

Tiger bone wine imported to China from N. Korea
Tiger bone wine imported to China from N. Korea. Image in public domain.

Sources: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, National Geographic, myself and various internet search results.


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