Deer antler velvet made headlines and entered the popular conscience of Americans during the 2012 Super Bowl. However, even with all the headlines and tabloids, many people are unaware as to what deer antler velvet is and its significance as a medicinal product.
What is Deer Antler Velvet?
Deer antler velvet is the term that is used to describe the vascular skin that grows on deer antlers. This skin only grows when the antlers are developing and in a cartilaginous state, typically right around the time a deer is ready to breed.
What is the Purpose of Deer Antler Velvet?
New antlers are grown every year by male deer during the “rut”, or mating season. During the rut, deer species all over the world are coursing with testosterone and will begin to lock antlers with other males in the hopes of securing a female.
As the pair of antlers develops, so too will the antler velvet that surrounds the newly formed antlers. The deer antler velvet delivers blood, oxygen, testosterone, and other chemicals that help the developing bone grow into strong antlers. This delivery of essential nutrients results in antlers that are large and strong, features that female deer can’t resist. After mating season ends, a deer’s antlers will fall and the process will begin anew for the following breeding season.
What are the Uses of Deer Antler Velvet?
While deer antler velvet has only recently made headlines, it has actually been used as a medicinal product for centuries. Native American tribes used deer antler velvet to enhance a warrior’s virility and strength. As well, ancient Chinese medicinal poultices, tonics, and rubs utilize deer antler velvet to remedy a wide variety of ailments. From arthritis to calcium deficiencies, deer antler and deer antler velvet is easily one of the most significant materials used in ancient Chinese medicine.
Today, deer antler velvet is used in numerous health products that promote an active and healthy lifestyle. It is used for weight loss, muscle development, and to improve sexual functions of men. Deer antler velvet products are commonly available as sprays, powders, and in pill form. The use of antler velvet is scientifically supported and in compliance with FDA regulations.