Driving tigers to extinction in the name of erection?

  • Ask Dr G
  • Sunday, 05 Oct 2014

Gandhi Jayanti is a National holiday in India celebrated on the 2nd of October, to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

How great is our Nation in treating the animals?

How do we compare to other shark fin eating Nations? Is the new generation going to be age of animal-loving country?

October 4th is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Since 1931, this day has been dedicated to highlight the plight of endangered species, following a convention of ecologists in Florence.

World Animal Day is celebrated in different manners in many countries.

It is definitely an appropriate Day to bring awareness to the symbol of our Nation, the Tiger.


Dear Dr. G,

I am a big follower of your articles.

I find you sense of humor appropriate to reduce taboo in talking about sensitive matters in men’s health, without dampening the excitement.

I have read a lot of your previous answers for other readers and has been disappointed that you have not put too much emphasis on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Surely this is more natural treatment with fewer side effects.

I am 65 and healthy. I recently have been feeling tired and my wife thinks I am becoming more grumpy.

I guess part of the reasons is that I am not sleeping well and the libido is also rock bottom.

I went to see a urologist who checked my testosterone. He said I have male menopause and suggest I should be started on Testosterone Replacement.

I have read a lot about Testosterone Treatment and worry about its association with prostate cancer. Besides, I worry about the long-term costs.

Truthfully, I am not a big fan of Western Medicine. If possible, I am rather keen to be treated the natural ways.

I have also been to see a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, who thinks my qi is insufficient and keen to elevate the qi with a concoction of herbs.

He also mentioned the use of derivatives from wild tigers such as tiger penis and tiger bone wines will also have a lasting impact on my health.

We all know that Chinese Medical practitioners have the track records of thousands of years.

Is there any truth in the tiger remedies? Is this scientifically proven? Is there any harm in taking them? Are they available?

I really hope you can help me to answer these questions.

Warmest Regards



Some says Traditional Chinese Medicine originated more than 5,000 years ago and these ancient remedies has been prescribed well over one thousand years.

TCM is observational practices rather than scientific implementations. The art of ingesting plants or animal parts that serves as drugs mainly works on the principles of preventive medicine.

The circulation of Qi is paramount with the intention to balance Yin and Yang, focusing on the intricate relations of five organs including kidneys, heart, liver, lung and spleen.

For centuries, Tiger is the Top predators shrouded with air of strength, power and profound mystery in Asian landscape.

As tribal cultures worship of tigers bestowing them with powers, tiger derivatives became the natural apothecary for restoration of strength and rectification of illnesses.

The first incorporation of tiger derivatives in TCM was documented in the collection of commentaries on the Classic of the Materia Medica, dated 500AD.

However, as most of the animal parts utilization in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the efficacy and safety data of such therapy is lacking in modern day scrutiny.

According to legend, nearly all part of this magnificent cat has the solutions for a catalogues of disorders. Promising to cure everything from nightmares to impotency.

Some of the preposterously absurd remedies include the use of the whiskers for toothache and feces curing alcoholism and piles. (Swallowing tiger poo for alcoholism? Seriously? Someone would contemplate that?)

Perhaps, the most renowned exploitations of the tiger derivatives are the beliefs of the aphrodisiac effects of the penis and the bones for the treatment of impotency and flagging libido.

Apparently, the upper front limb is the most coveted skeleton, believed to have the most potent healing powers.

Once the flesh is stripped, the tiger bones are ground into powder and used in pills with other ingredients. The carcasses of tigers are also used for elixir for potency. 

The appetite for tiger parts used in TCM is still expanding, despite China formally banning domestic trade of tiger bone in 1993, and tigers were already classified as endangered species in 1986.

Though tiger hunting is illegal in the 21st century, killing has continued mainly due to the increasing wealth of many Asian Nations.

When faced with the threat of illnesses, many of us would opt for the natural remedies with the intentions of causing less harm to our body.

In truth, “Natural” does not always mean safe. The so-called Traditional Herbal Therapy may have toxic effects to the vulnerable.

In a one year prospective surveillance study, yohimbine contained in the Chinese herbs accounted for 18% of reported cases to Poison control centers when taken as supplements.

Some herbal and animal products for sexual performance enhancement; may even contain the components of the “blue pills”, of unknown source or quantity.

Surely, such “natural” remedy does not equate to safe!

One of the greatest and best-known French poet and novelist of the Romantic Movement, Victor Hugo, once said: "The animal is ignorant of the fact that he knows. The man is aware of the fact that he is ignorant”.

I am not a tree hugging, organic farming vegan by any stretch of imagination. However, I feel rather strongly against tiger remedy for sexual health with no real scientific evidence.

In the presence of modern day therapy, we still have to take risk with our lives with risky “natural” remedies. Driving tigers to extinction in the name of erection? Now that is true ignorance!

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