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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says male impotence need not be an excuse to poach tigers into extinction

Traditional Chinese have deemed 2010 the Chinese Year of the Tiger. But some traditional Chinese medicine is based on superstition, and some Chinese men still think the bones of a tiger will increase their libido and so want to kill tigers to get a hard on.

AdultShop should set up in Beijing and sort these misguided blokes out.

"Zion Organic's Tiger Bone contains herbs that have been associated with love potions and sexuality for thousands of years! These herbs enhance libido, boost sexual vigor, performance stamina and heighten sexual excitement for both males and females. The formula in this tonic will stimulate gland hormone activities, increase body energy that helps improve blood supply, nerve stimulation and glandular activity.

Better Sex naturally emerges from a healthier body and mind. If there are psychological or stress related problems impending sexuality (Up to 80% of sexual dysfunction is of mental or emotinal origin), our tonic drinks can hep over come them by turning the attention to love making and stimulating short term energy against impotence or frigidity. For the 20% of psychological factors causing sexual problems , the most common are diabetes, the use of certain prescriptions and poor circulation. Aging is not a cause of impotence or lack of libido for either male or female. Normal sexual function requires healthy organs and balance glands to produce necessary sex hormones. The herbs found in Tiger Bone help to establish a superior body balance by working through the glands, and they are uniquely qualified to help combat disorders associated with sexual function.[Source: zionorganic.com].

"A Chinese court has recently sentenced a man to 12 years in jail, plus a fine, for killing an endangered Indochinese tiger - which was made into a stew and eaten."

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long advocated applying Tiger Bone as a traditional medicine for male impotence. With a billion Chinese, the Chinese Year of the Tiger translates to neanderthal Chinese paying big yuan to slaughter endangered tigers (mainly from impoverished India and Indonesia) in order to think their penises will grow and make more Chinese boys.

Unscientific people can be really backwards.
TCM used tiger bone in prescriptions for centuries, perhaps more than 1,500 years to treat pain and inflammation and to strengthen muscles, tendons and bones.

But wait!
Backward Chinese have no reason to be shy about their libido and size. The Chinese Government owned Tanggula Pharmaceutical Company has published results of 10 years of research showing that sailong (mole rat) bone “can completely substitute tiger bone for the effective treatment of rheumatism.

So misguided impotents can get help from mole rats and leave tigers alone. Their numbers in the wild have been reduced to just hundreds.

Seriously, the Chinese Government's 14 year ban on trade in 'tiger bone' is a positive step forward out of a backward superstition that only serves to drive a significant top order mammal into extinction.

If not, the 1 billion Chinese pathogen should be returned to the one child policy.

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Comments

It would be a favour to everyone, especially tigers, if the Chinese started manufacturing generic Viagra, to bring the price down.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page

Personally, just my opinion.. but isn't it primeval to hunt and, secondary to the 'kill' get an erection; perhaps something has been lost in translation.

You get a 'boner' if you eat the bones? Hrrumph! Excuse me.. raised with brothers and raised sons..and married a sailor .. and then a builder.

Yep! Take the shop 'Sexy Land' to China - paint Tiger's over the underwear and.. er.. other things...

Whilst I in no means advocate the killing of tigers (or any animals) for medical or other purposes I think your disdain for the validity of it as a therapy is ignorant and disrespectful. I don't get the impression that you have actual intellectual basis for your assertion that people who think that this works are "backward". Whether or not it works and whether or not it should be done are two different issues.

I think though that to kill a tiger merely to benefit a human is disrespectful to something of extraordinary beauty, strength and rarity, and a sign of depravity. To preserve its habitat and allow it to thrive is a sign of dignity and self-control in the human species.

Regardless of whether it works or not, the use of tiger body parts can not be tolerated as it is both illegal and unsustainable. Even the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies condemns the use of tigers or any other endangered animal such as the snow leopard. Until TCM can move forward and find substitutes for these animal products it will regularly get branded as backward and rightly so, whether they work or not is irrelevant. I'm sure if tigers do become extinct there will plenty of alternatives that will appear on the market.

There is no point getting defensive about cultural insensitivity towards TCM, better to channel that energy towards fixing the root of the problem. We all love tigers don't we ? - and snow leopards, and golden cats, and bears, and turtles, and flying lizards .............................

Re: 'Disputes belief in medical value of tiger parts 'backward'

Primitive man was backward - unintelligent, insular, superstitious, amoral and simpleton. 'He' knew no better. Primitive cultures killed wildlife to survive and for spiritual and/or superstitious 'medical' reasons.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has used tiger parts because of a superstitious belief that the tiger's strength translates into mythical power and so could supposedly replenish the body's essential energy, cure chronic ailments and disease. In primitive times when tens of thousands of tigers roamed naturally and primitive man knew no better, an anthropologist might be inclined to consider the practice of tiger killing justifiable back then.

But this is 2010. Chinese ain't primitive anymore. Chinese know better.

Furthermore, the Caspian Tiger, the Balinese Tiger and the Javan Tiger have as tiger subspecies been driven into extinction by Man. Today there are as few as 3,200 tigers surviving in the wild and it faces extinction by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.

TIGERS IN CRISIS

"Western medical experts tend to discount all claims of any curative power in tiger bone, as they do the rhinoceros horn, another popular Chinese medicine. And, it is well known that aspirin contains similar properties and produces the many of the same results as tiger prescriptions in patients.

Despite this, in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and in Chinatowns across Europe and North America, Chinese medicine stores do a steady trade in tiger wines, powder, tiger balms and tiger pills. Many Asian communities believe that tiger bone, in powdered form or prepared as, "tiger wine," soothes rheumatic pain and cures ulcers, malaria and burns.

These derivatives make international trade and consumption possible in the wake of the, Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty because they are not easily recognizable as tiger parts.

In recent years there has also been a resurgence of interest in traditional values and cures derived from nature in Chinese culture. Thus, the use of endangered tiger parts for medicinal properties is seen as a status symbol, a way to retain customs amid rapid change and as an alternative to the shortcomings of western medicine."Source

In 2010, traditional human cultures can CHOOSE to continue their traditions. They practice these in 2010 by choice. They now have access to 21st Century knowledge, skills, medicine and technology. Amoral primitive man knew no better. Traditional man in the 21st Century, now knows better and so is therefore not amoral, but indeed immoral by killing threatened species to perpetuate a tradition of choice. They can have their traditions but not to the detriment of wildlife species.

Killing tigers today for any reason is unnecessary. The Japanese killing whales or Bluefin tuna for their taste is unnecessary and driving these species to extinction simply to perpetuate a tradition of choice. Traditional nostalgia is not a moral justification for driving species extinction.

For Chinese and Japanese to kill threatened species is indeed more backward that their traditional ancestors. Modern Japanese and Chinese now know better! It is premeditated genocide.

This is the moral basis for my assertion.

So I have no problem labelling such a wanton destruction of a species as backward, depraved and criminal. It is exploitative extremism. Backward Chinese and Japanese can bugger off back to their respective homelands and stop plundering the wildlife of other lands. I have no respect for such practice and would support an international zero tolerance policy.

Killing a tiger ought attract a life sentence, seizure of assets of the immediate family of the perpetrator.
Personally I would shoot such poachers on sight if the law permitted and keen to fund an organisation dedicated to killing poachers. 'Protecting threatened species' should be a legal defence for someone charged with killing a poacher.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

I believe many contributors to this type of thread will need to develop, or expand cultural sensitivity pertaining to TCM, which evolves from the culinary practices of the Chinese people.

We are reflecting on a civilisation developed over unnumbered centuries, and TCM, which undeniably includes a large portion of consumerable items, along with the common diet, which has expanded to take in virtually all available animals and plants as a source of medicinal cures and protein.

The success of the Chinese economy is inherent in the Chinese ascendancy here in Australia, [now largest immigrant group] and it should be expected that the native creatures here will come to form both a varied part of their culinary habits, and a source of health improvement, the latter aided by modern scientific technology.

And, remember, all the native animals formed part of the diet and health maintenance of our Aboriginal tribes.

Those who criticize Chinese TCM/culinary practices should mind their words, not only due to insensitivity, but due to the very nature of side effects of the medicinal drugs pushed by big pharma, and the decline of food stocks, the need for Australians to probably follow this change in medicines and diet will occur.

If you look at old Chinese Art, it contains many respectful depictions of nature, including birds and animals. Somewhere along the way, this attitude was lost. I suspect that Mao's revolution, which brought many Chinese to starvation, and which advocated massive population growth, was responsible for destroying whatever remained of that respect for nature.

It isn't a good look or a good example to trash nature just for human ends.

New Chinese traditions or Western capitalist corporations that destroy nature for narrow commercial gain need to be shown up for what they are, and shunned.

Bill I think you are drawing a very long bow indeed comparing the diet and health maintenance of Australian Aboriginal people with that of the Chinese. Notwithstanding the enormous difference in the populations of the two peoples and therefore sustainability of any particular culinary choice, the indigenous Australians did not eat all of the animal species endemic to Australia. For example, animals believed to contain evil spirits or demons such as the wedge tailed eagle were not consumed.

I also doubt very much that a decline in food stocks will lead to Australians turning to what is left of endemic Australian wildlife. There would be barely a Chicken McNugget each to go around.

I appreciate that the Chinese community in Australia is very significant however I would expect very few of Australia's native creatures to form part of their culinary habits, biggest immigrant group or not. You see the problem is there are so very few of them and so many of us (humans that is). Concerns about the sustainability of certain TCM ingredients are valid arguments in an extremely important debate. I would also suggest that the use of animals such as tigers in TCM does have a major side effect that is clearly evident today and can be seen by everyone, culturally insensitive or not.

Re: Bill on 'TCM'

Our country our rules, or they can bugger off!
Rudd's Mandarin red carpet can account for the disproportionate prejudice toward so many Chinese here over any other group.

Overseas immigrants are welcome if our carrying capacity test allows, and provided they agree to obey Australian laws and respect Australian values and customs, which are now as diverse as Australia's hypertolerant society allows.

Backward cultures and extreme behavior which are anathema to Australian values are unAustralian, unwelcome and ought be outlawed. Aboriginal acts that breach Australian values fall into the same category. Importing animal parts from wildlife is immoral and illegal in Australia as it should be. The traditional Aboriginal custom of punishment by spearing in the thigh is now immoral and illegal as it should be.

There is no room for a parallel universe for those with nostalgic fetishes for traditional immoral behaviour. Any defence of 'cultural insensitivity' is invalid when it prescribes immorality and drives species extinction. [Read comment above again].

Hey Bill, bestiality and the voodoo practice of sacrificing is also illegal in Australia.
In the Solomons, "head-hunting, cannibalism and skull worship were central elements of traditional culture, and sacred skull shrines remain as macabre and fascinating reminders of the old days."

I am not opposed to Solomon Islander people coming to Australia, but they must abandon any desire for introducing their traditional cannibalism for Australian values.
Our country our rules, or they can bugger off!

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

I feel there is an Ostrich type mentality apparent here, evidenced in a failure to appreciate the reality of economics in Australia today. An awareness of cultural relativism, that is the entitlement of all cultures to be practiced, an inherent objective of multiculturalism, also seems to have been dismissed.

Both these aspects need to be acknowledged and accepted as underpinning life in Australia, as it will unfold as we progress through this century.

“Economies overrule culture” Paul Keating 1997.

Localism as expressed in “our country our rules, etc”, is naivety [redneck?] in relation to the path that economics will/is setting for Australians. This path will most decidedly require acceptance of cultural relativism.

The European Union is an example to appreciate our future in the vision that is the Asian Pacific Union, already announced by our Prime Minister.

Such visionary unions establish the free movement of both people and capital, throughout the region, as well as entitlement to the same rights as citizens, and access to facilities for all. Localism has no place here, and cultural practices such as TCM/culinary will be relocated in this movement of people.

There may be an overlay type sentiment against this coming union and benefits, remaining from previous generations here, but, and not wishing to be politically incorrect, consumerist and feminisation attitudes have supplanted any real foundation for avoidance. And, there is no point putting ones head in the sand as a means to avoid this outcome.

No one should deny that the availability of Australian resources can provide the prospects for an improvement in lifestyle to many more people in our region.

I remain with the position that many TCM/culinary practices, extended to include harvesting of our native species, will become a norm in the Australia that is looming before us.

As a side note, I do not think some of the disparaging comments on Mao are fully correct. When the revolutionary movent captured the state power in 1948 the Chinese people reportedly numbered around five hundred millions. But there was no programme for massive increase, it was largely that limitation was not canvassed.

It may be that some overpopulation has resulted in China [many years after the passing of Mao] as well as elsewhere in South Asia, but a further positive for the Asian Union concept will see a more even spread of people, and therefore better environment balance.

Re: 'funnelweb bill' comment above:

The self-righteousness of an imported culture to impose its lore upon Australian society has as much validity as military invasion. Our country our rules!

The concepts of 'cultural relativism' and 'multiculturalism' is about deculturation of the incumbent culture by imported cultures that disrespect local rights, reject assimilation and instead selfishly seek to impose an imported culture on the local population. In Australia it started with the British asserting 'terra nulius' and annihilating Aboriginal custodians. It exacerbated with post war immigration and it has evolved to the point where migrant decendants now have the balance of power to legislate immigrant cultures with more rights than the local culture.

The metaphoric multi-cultural soup or melting pot is a myth. What we have in reality is Spanish tapas - distinctly unrelated cultures each demanding their own rights and wriggle room. The cumulative effect over subsequent generations is not intermarriage, not acceptance of the dominant culture, but incompatible cultures undermining social cohesion and Australian values, building ex-patriot ghettos.

Backward cultures like Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) which advocate using rare wildlife body parts for so-called medicinal remedies are anathema to Australian social moral vaues and have no place in Australian modern civilized culture.

Of course this raises the obvious grey issue of what in fact are Australian core social values and whether these should be standardised and legislated?

If TCM in Australia abandoned the animal parts aspect of its practices, then it would deserve merit. But it doesn't. TCM condones illegal trading in wildlife parts like shark fin, tiger penis and bear spleen.

TCM has the same base values as traditional Solomon Island culture that advocates cannibalism and head-hunting. Permit one backward culture that is anathema to Australian cultural values and you set a precedent.

Backward cultures breaching Australian values should be outlawed.

And leave the bloody ostriches alone too!

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia