In ancient times, in Northern China, the emperor family hunted deer in the forest which is a very popular event that brought joy to the empire. Deer is not only hunted but they enjoy the deer as a delicacy, usually the wealthy chinese could enjoy the meat in the past as it was very rare and expensive.
An ancient emperor eats more deer meat, as it contains high nutrition. Many old Chinese books highly recommend deer meat being good for the body. Now everyone can enjoy deer meat to help strengthen and balance the body, especially during winter.
1. Health effects of deer
i) Balance and strengthen the major five organs
One very old popular Chinese book called “Ben cao gong mu” records this. All parts of the deer are used to tonify the body. Another traditional book called “Shi liao ben cao” records deer meat as strengthening the body, balancing of the five major organs and to improve circulation. Another ancient chinese herbal book called “Yi lin zaun yao” records deer meat as tonifying the spleen and stomach, nourish blood and Qi, strengthening body yang and essence. Chinese medicine considers the main cause of fatigue syndrome is strongly associated with weakness of the five organs.
Due to the effects of the deer, it is suitable to eat for the following people.
Weak kidneys: People who suffer from kidney Qi and kidney yang deficiency may have the following lower back, cold feet and knees, knee and leg pain, especially those who’s pain intensifies upon activities puffy ankles, lack of energy, frequent urination in the evening, early waking, early onset of menopause, impotence or lowered libido.
Weak spleen (indigestion): Those who suffer from spleen and stomach function weakness. These people can experience diarrhea, poor appetite, bloating especially after eating, discomfort in the stomach after eating cold things. If there is a long term weakness of the spleen some may have under-reactive thyroid or anemia.
Heart and lung weakness: People who have weaker lung or heart function may have the following; short of breath, lethargy, pallor, palpitations, tightness in the chest, cold hands and feet, lowered immune system (easy to get cold or flu).
Liver, blood deficiency: Usually these people experience insomnia, vivid dreams, very emotional, depression, joint pain and tightness, dry and tired eyes. If you have any of the symptoms above, I suggest that while you are undergoing treatment, you can eat a certain amount of deer meat (venison) to help improve your condition.
ii) Warming the circulation and joints
Deer meat has warm characteristics thus having warming effects on the circulation. It is suitable for the following symptoms such as; cold hands and feet, aversion to cold, diarrhea, joint pain (more prominent in the winter or on a cold day). This is why deer meat is very popular to eat during winter and on a cold day.
iii) Tonify’s blood and produce breast milk
As deer meat can help digestion, produce Qi and blood; eating it can help to restore Qi and blood, and increase the production of milk after labour quickly.
iv) Strengthening kidney yang and improving sex drive
Those who suffer from impotence or sexual function disorder which is associated with kidney yang and kidney Qi deficiency. These people not only have a lowered sex drive by they have associated symptoms of tiredness, lower back pain, insomnia, awoken early, early onset of menopause, puffy legs and ankles and pain in heel. I suggest that while you are undergoing treatment, you can eat deer meat to support your treatment and improve your condition.
As deer meat has warm and tonifying characteristics, if your constitution belongs to cold or deficiency, deer meat will balance your body. Especially in the winter time as it warms your circulation.
i) Stir fried deer meat with ginger and onions
50 grams of deer meat – diced
2 Pieces of ginger – chopped finely
3 Tblsp spring onion – chopped
2 Tblsp olive oil
Stirfry all the ingredients with the oil on a medium heat until the meat is well cooked. At the end of cooking you can add soya sauce and salt to taste. You can eat this 2 or 3 times a week as required.
Effects: Balance the five organs; tonify Qi and blood
i) Due to the characteristics of deer meat, I suggest that those with the following conditions should avoid eating deer meat. Body having a heat conditions such as red eyes, constipation, dark urination, heart burn, ulcer in the mouth, fever, infection in the body.
ii) If you are unsure whether to eat or avoid deer meat or how much to eat please consult a TCM practitioner.