Rhino Horn

Rhino Horn

Everyone knows that rhinoceros horn is used as an aphrodisiac in Chinese medicine. There’s just one thing: everybody’s wrong.

“Rhino horn has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since at least 200 BC and never as an aphrodisiac. It is commonly prescribed as a cardiotonic or antipyretic (relieves fever). The horn from Asian rhino species are believed to be more potent than the African. (The other big black-market use of rhino horn is for the traditional decorative dagger handle or jambiyyas in the Middle East).

The use of rhino horn as an aphrodisiac is not noted in any TCM text. Please, the reality is that most wildlife poaching in Asia is not undertaken for the purposes of alleviating sexual dysfunction.”

 — “Old Myths Never Die: Rhino Horn,” Brendan Moyle, via Sciblogs (link added).

Still, that’s probably little comfort to the rhinos.

Related: “Rhino Horn Use: Fact vs. Fiction, PBS Nature

Image: Rhinoceros, by Albrecht Dürer. Download a copy here.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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