Deer antler velvet is the soft substance that is found on newly forming antlers of male deer. The velvet is vital for the antler growing process of each male deer. Deer antler velvet causes rapid cellular division and high antler growth rate in just a short amount of time. The velvet of deer antlers contains calcium, zinc, magnesium, glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen to support healthy bones and cartilage.
The History of Medicinal Antler Velvet
The use of medicinal antler velvet goes back thousands of years. In fact, the first documented case of deer antler velvet was found written on a scroll that was discovered deep within a tomb in Hunan, China over 2000 years ago. The Han Dynasty used antler velvet from around 206 BC until 220 AD. Pen Ts’ao Kang Mu wrote in a 16th century medical text describing the various deer antler velvet preparations used including ointment, pills and tinctures.
Medicinal Deer Antler Velvet Today
In traditional Chinese medicine, the velvet is believed to improve the condition of bone health, to nourish the blood, decrease swelling and treat impotence. Deer antler velvet is also used in Chinese medicine to treat urinary disorders, female ailments, skin problems and weak knees. In addition, the Chinese use deer antler velvet as a type of tonic to treat children with learning disabilities or growth deficiencies. Koreans currently use the velvet as a means to treat anemia, impotence and weak immune system response. Korean medicine also believes deer antler velvet can improve heart function, muscle tone, lung capability and nerve impulse reaction.
What Does Deer Antler Velvet Do?
Scientists discovered high concentrations of complex amino acids, growth factors, and IGF-1 within the deer antler velvet. Of all these components, the most valuable one for humans is IGF-1. The term “IGF-1” literally stands for Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1, as it is a close hormone relative to human growth hormone. While growth hormone within the human body is produced by the pituitary gland, the liver produces IGF-1 when it detects the presence of growth hormone. IGF-1 benefits human muscle tissue growth, muscle recovery, and can stimulate maximum protein synthesis. Its effects last much longer than the growth hormone found in the human body, however, and magnifies the effect of growth hormone alone. In addition, many people who take deer antler velvet notice they sleep deeper and feel more rested upon waking.
What is the Delivery Route?
Deer antler velvet generally comes in two forms…sprays and pills. Many people take the supplement before a work out or increased activity level. Bodybuilders often use the spray form, as it has a quick delivery time and enters the bloodstream just before exercise. The preferred delivery system is a personal choice. Some people prefer taking the pill form of deer antler velvet, while others prefer the spray.