Tiger Bone Wine (Hu Gu Jiu or Fu Gu Jiu) is probably the most well know Herbal Wine in the World, and has been used for Centuries by Traditional Chinese Martial Artists as well as Chinese Doctors. Traditionally this Formulas was based around the Bone of Tigers. ... It has become the Spirit of the Wine, not the Ingredient.
Tiger bone wine (Chinese: 虎骨酒; pinyin: Hǔ gǔ jiǔ) is an alcoholic beverage originally produced in China using bone from tigers as main ingredient. The production process takes approximately eight years and results in a high alcohol concentration. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the specific use of certain body parts is capable of healing diseases according to the characteristics of the animal used to obtain the product, that is believed to be connected with the disease of the person.
In the Chinese culture, it was a tradition to use wines as a cure for diseases: this practice dates back to the Han dynasty's period of domination. The first reference to the specific involvement of tigers in the creation of the wine is around 500 AD. The demand for products containing animal body parts accelerated in the 1980s, during the process of industrialisation and the related population increase: in this way, the booming of the middle class has led to more affordability to the purchase of these. The decreasing availability of tiger parts resulted in substantially higher prices, with bottles sold for hundreds of dollars each. In the 1990s, biologists and other researchers identified that the number of tigers used to make tiger bone wine (which were mainly from South China) had severely decreased. The excessive demand of the animal products is claimed to be a major factor in the tiger's current state of functionally extinction.
IngredientsRice wine or white wine, tiger bones, ginger, sage
Tiger wine production and commercialisation continued, although the ingredient of the animal has been omitted from the labels since then: the production of the tonic wine went on despite the ban on trading the animal components due to the existence of tiger farms together with legal shortcomings and few government regulations.
In 1986, the first tiger farm was created in South China. This type of facility was considered as a zoo, until it was discovered that its actual function was to breed tigers like livestock. These facilities are managed so that tigers reproduce quickly, and newborns are removed from their mothers soon after birth so that the females can more quickly produce another cob. Tiger farms are located in China,South East Asia and South Africa. In February 2018, these facilities were estimated to host more than 8,000 tigers, double the number in the wild. An investigation in Thailand led to the discovery of a disguised tiger farm with an income of about 3 million dollars a year. In a raid in 2016, Thai authorities seized the 137 tigers in a temple that lead to the discovery of tiger parts and 40 dead tiger cubs which were about to be used for wines and medical purposes. The consumption of tiger bone wine is believed to be limited mostly to the elder part of the population, since traditional medicine is being replaced by more modern, evidence-based medicine among younger people.