Every year, deer antlers go through a natural cycle where they grow new antlers to replace the hard ones. These antlers are removed as part of deer farm management to avoid danger if ever the deer becomes aggressive or during mating season. Antlers are also removed to harvest velvet antler to use as a medicine and any other health maintenance purposes.
Velvet antler is the soft cartilaginous tissue which is supplied with nerves and blood vessels that can actually grow up to two centimeters each day. In about 2 months or 60 days, these antlers will start to calcify or convert into a hard calcium compound from its base upward. In New Zealand, while antlers hasn't turned into hard bone-like structure yet which is in between the 45th and the 60th day, velvet is being harvested while under the supervision of a veterinarian to guarantee that none of these animals are harmed.
Deer antler velvet ingredients was once thought to be like an "aphrodisiac" only as it also increases libido or the sexual arousal of both men and women. However, traditional medicine, particularly in China, proved that it can also be used mainly as one of the best health and wellness tonic. It was given mostly to young children, pretty much like a vitamin, to improve growth and prevent various ailments. As years go by, processed velvet became very popular because of many different clinical studies and research supporting its positive effects on several diseases, specifically on people experiencing moderate to severe pain.
And over the decade, more and more athletes and bodybuilders use deer antler to increase muscle growth and physical performance. It was also found out that high level of antioxidant that you can find in velvet have revitalizing effects on people, thus making it one of the most natural anti-aging agent.
Today, New Zealand is the biggest exporter of deer velvet due to having the largest deer farm around the world. And most of New Zealand velvet deer antlers are being exported to Korea where it's mostly used as powder or in very thin slices.