Deer antler velvet is one of the cornerstones of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Along with ginseng and reishi mushroom, deer antler velvet makes up the three key ingredients that have been used for centuries to prolong life, improve energy, and to protect the body. These ingredients are used as a tonic, meaning that they are not used to treat a specific condition or ailment, but rather to support the body’s necessary functions as a whole to promote overall well being and longevity.
Deer antlers are very special in their biology being the only mammalian organ that can regenerate. This feature is possible due to ectosaponins, a substance that can be extracted from deer antler to help regenerate other types of tissue in humans. As a result, deer antler velvet has become a prized supplement for use as a tissue growth stimulant and cell healer. It can be used for muscle growth, injury recovery, and as a means to rejuvenate the body.
New Zealand deer antler velvet is made from red deer. The red deer is a medium sized, round-antlered deer. They weigh around 400 lbs. The summer coat of red deer is typically a reddish brown, while in winter it is usually a brown or grayish-brown. Its antlers are grown and shed every year by male deer. During the growth stage, antlers are soft and fuzzy. At this time, antlers are called deer antler velvet. Deer antler velvet growth starts between early September and December and is complete when the antler hardens between mid January and mid March.
Deer antler velvet is purported to have many benefits. Deer antler velvet contains mucopolysaccharides that promote the regeneration the antler tissue in the deer. This same substance supports regeneration of tissue to those who consume it. In addition, deer antler velvet is know to help in building tissue, such as muscle, increasing endurance, and promoting recovery.