In traditional Chinese medicine, the use of animal products is a sensitive subject. However, at Phoenix, we are proud to say that we are against the use of animal products. We believe that there are ways of helping people without any means of cruelty. We have partnered up with Animals Asia to raise awareness of substitute herbs you can use.
Huang Lian instead of Bear Bile (Xiong Dan)
Bear bile, or Xiong Dan, has been used in TCM for thousands of years, killing and injuring thousands of the defenceless bears residing in China and Vietnam. Bear gallbladder and bile were originally used to treat a variety of illnesses, which included fever, liver disease, and heart disease. Bear bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid, which is known to be useful for treating liver and gallbladder conditions.
Huang Lian, however, is just as effective. Huang Lian, or Coptis, is a herb that helps to detoxify the body; clearing damp-heat; quenching fire; counteracting poison, and best of all – it doesn’t harm bears!
Ban Lan Gen instead of Rhino Horn (Xi Jiao)
Rhinos are an endangered species with only 3 500 Asian rhinos left in the wild. As a Chinese herb material with an extremely cold property, it was once thought of as one of the few lifesaving drugs people suffering from severe fever could rely on. Because of this, rhino horns were used for centuries in TCM to relieve the heat in the blood, stop bleeding, purge fires and reduce toxins.
Ban Lan Gen, or Isatis tinctoria, is a great herb substitute than rhino horn as it’s effective at relieving fire toxicity, cooling the blood, draining the heat and greatly benefits the throat.
Yin Yang Huo instead of Seahorse (Hai Ma)
It is estimated that 150 million seahorses are traded and sold annually. This raises the concern as to whether or not they will be able to sustain their populations at the current rate in which they are being harvested. Dried seahorse is thought to treat impotence and act as an aphrodisiac.
Yin Yang Huo, or epimedii, is just as effective as dried seahorse as it can increase testosterone production; improve libido and helps to treat erectile dysfunction. It is considered a natural aphrodisiac and a brilliant alternative to animal products.
Shu Di Huang instead of Tortoiseshell (Bie Jia)
Tortoiseshell or Bie Jia, is widely used for its ability to nourish Yin and anchor Yang. It is also known to invigorate the blood and promote menstruation. Tortoise shell gelatine can be used for impotence, uterine bleeding, and lower-back pain. Despite tortoise shells being used in TCM for centuries, the process is cruel and tortoises have been placed on the endangered species list and thereby prohibited from trade and collection.
We recommend the use of Shu Di Huang as an effective substitute for tortoise shell. Just like the tortoise shell, Shu Di Huang, or Rehmannia, is favoured for its ability to nourish the liver and kidney Yin. It can also nourish the blood, obstruct coughing and wheezing and its benefits towards irregular menstruation.
To purchase the above-mentioned herbs or any other from our herbal range, visit the shop. If you need assistance with any other substitutes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.