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Types of porcupine bezoar
There are three types of porcupine bezoars,
• Blooded – has reddish colour and not so
common nowadays, thus much sought-after;
• Powdery – has a smooth surface and much
harder than other types. It is considered the best
quality, hence is the most expensive type; and
• Grassy – has a coarser surface and is of greenish-
brown colour. It is also among the cheapest.
Due to its rarity, 0.38g of the porcupine bezoar
reportedly might command a price from RM700
onwards, and one stone with the average size of
a marble could fetch RM25,000 to RM72,000 (for a
superior grade of ‘powdery’ type)!
Use of porcupine bezoar in traditional Chinese
medicine (TCM), or other complementary/
alternative medicine (CAM), is quite similar to
that of ox bezoar (gallstone) – which is called
niu-huang (牛黃) or calculus bovis. They are claimed
to remove toxins from the body.
The recommended dosage is 0.1-0.2g (in children)
and 0.3-0.4g (in adult) – to be taken one to
three times a day, depending on individual’s
health conditions. The powder can be put into
the mouth directly or dissolved in a tablespoon
with water, and should be taken with an
empty stomach.
It is used in alternative medicine for its
anti-inl ammatory, anti-oxidant and immunebooster properties, as well as for body
detoxii cation. Sometimes, it is also recommended
for treatment of cancer, dengue fever, meningitis,
herpes, throat infection, pneumonia, and as
pre- and post-operation “anti-infective”.
However, none of the above treatments have
ever been proven in western medicine or
through clinical researches. It is also ethically
unsound to substitute properly prescribed
antibiotics with porcupine bezoar for anti-infection
regimen, or to mix allopathic medicine with
TCM or CAM without prior consultation with
your doctor
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Dunny Nasution
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