Monday, 6 November 2017

The Chinese 'miracle' elixir that threatens donkeys around the world

Chinese demand for donkey gelatine is hammering the Chinese and African donkey populations, putting the price of donkeys out of reach for subsistence farmers

Kimon de Greef
Tuesday 31 October 2017 11.00 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 31 October 2017 13.54 GMT

It was a bout of period pain that led to Liu Yanan’s first taste of donkey gelatine. The 13-year-old was visiting family in Beijing when her cramps started for the first time. Her aunt took out an ornate box filled with smooth chocolate-brown slabs, broke off a small piece, and stirred it into a pot of sweetened rice porridge.

The medicine was ejiao, a Chinese medicine made from donkey skins and used for over 2,500 years. Yanan hesitated before eating the mixture, but she trusted her aunt and wanted relief from the pain. “I felt comfortable afterwards. My body was warm,” she says. “I took it for a month and the trouble went away.”

That was back in 2004, and since then China’s ejiao industry has turned into a global megabusiness. What was once a humble blood tonic for conditions like anemia – a claim supported by no clinical evidence – has been rebranded as a wellness product for China’s ascendant middle class, and now features in face creams, sweets and liqueurs, as well as a wide variety of medicinal preparations. There are claims it will help with anemia and acneboost your energy, improve your sleep, nourish your yinprevent cancer, make you look better and even improve your libido. It is billed, in short, as a miracle elixir.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails