Awely des tigres et des hommes Tigers and People

The alleged medicinal virtues of tiger-based products

19 June 2015

Some tiger body parts are sold for a fortune on the Asian market to feed the demands of traditional Chinese medicine.

There are fewer than 4000 tigers left in the wild, and the demand for derivative tiger products, notably in Asian countries, stays very strong. For example, tiger bones are used to treat human bone diseases such as rheumatism,  or their genitals might be used to heal impotence. Tiger eyes, brain, tail, skin or even whiskers are given as many medicinal virtues as the humans have diseases to heal.

Despite many studies that have shown the curative inefficiency of tiger-based products, traditions remain deeply rooted and the power of money reigns. Consuming these products is a symbol of power and social success. And this phenomenon seems to be on the rise since Asian purchasing power has been steadily increasing over the past 15 years, notably in China and in Vietnam.

It is most likely that in Vietnam there are no longer any wild tigers, and so our partner organisation Education for Nature – Vietnam is working to mitigate this situation by attacking its source, that of strong demand. The organisation carries out actions to reduce illegal trafficking and encourages the population to combat this outrage. It also creates pedagogical tools for communities like advertising, TV or radio campaigns and diffuses them to a wide audience in the media, on the Web or in public areas.

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A frozen tiger confiscated in one of the major tiger trading districts of Nghe An province in January 2015.

© Education for Nature – Vietnam

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