URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/808.html

Deer Velvet

What is it?

Deer velvet covers the growing bone and cartilage that develops into deer antlers. People use deer velvet as medicine for a wide range of health problems.

People use deer velvet for conditions such as athletic performance, high blood pressure, asthma, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for DEER VELVET are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • Athletic performance. Early research shows that taking deer velvet extract or powder does not improve strength in active males. However, it might improve endurance by a small amount.
  • Increasing sexual desire in healthy people. Early research shows that taking deer velvet powder does not improve sexual function or desire in male.
  • Acne.
  • Asthma.
  • Cancer.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Immune system function.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • Muscle pain.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of deer velvet for these uses.

Are there safety concerns?

When taken by mouth: Deer velvet is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken for up to 12 weeks. It is not known what possible side effects deer velvet might have.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if deer velvet is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Deer velvet might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use deer velvet.

Are there interactions with medications?

Be watchful with this combination.
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)
Some birth control pills contain the hormone estrogen. Deer velvet contains hormones. Taking deer velvet along with birth control pills might change the effects of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with deer velvet, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Some of these drugs include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Deer velvet contains a small amount of hormones. Taking deer velvet along with estrogen pills might change the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The appropriate dose of deer velvet depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for deer velvet. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Andouiller de Cerf, Antler Velvet, Bois de Cerf, Bois de Cerf Rouge, Bois de Chevreuil, Bois de Velours, Bois de Wapiti, Cervus elaphus, Cervus nippon, Cornu Cervi Parvum, Deer Antler, Deer Antler Velvet, Elk Antler, Elk Antler Velvet, Horns of Gold, Lu Rong, Nokyong, Rokujo, Terciopelo de Cuerno de Venado, Velours de Cerf, Velvet Antler, Velvet Dear Antler, Velvet of Young Deer Horn.


To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.


  1. Haines SR, McCann MJ, Grosvenor AJ, Thomas A, Noble A, Clerens S. ACE inhibitory peptides in standard and fermented deer velvet: an in silico and in vitro investigation. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Dec 5;19:350. View abstract.
  2. Zhang P, Guo Z, Ma L, Wang G, Zhao Y. Investigation of anti-fatigue effect and simultaneous determination of eight nucleosides in different parts of velvet antler in red deer and sika deer. Chem Biodivers. 2020 Feb;17:e1900512. View abstract.
  3. Bubenik, G. A., Miller, K. V., Lister, A. L., Osborn, D. A., Bartos, L., and van der Kraak, G. J. Testosterone and estradiol concentrations in serum, velvet skin, and growing antler bone of male white-tailed deer. J Exp Zoolog.A Comp Exp Biol 3-1-2005;303:186-192. View abstract.
  4. Sleivert, G., Burke, V., Palmer, C., Walmsley, A., Gerrard, D., Haines, S., and Littlejohn, R. The effects of deer antler velvet extract or powder supplementation on aerobic power, erythropoiesis, and muscular strength and endurance characteristics. Int J Sport Nutr.Exerc.Metab 2003;13:251-265. View abstract.
  5. Conaglen, H. M., Suttie, J. M., and Conaglen, J. V. Effect of deer velvet on sexual function in men and their partners: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Sex Behav. 2003;32:271-278. View abstract.
  6. Zhang, H., Wanwimolruk, S., Coville, P. F., Schofield, J. C., Williams, G., Haines, S. R., and Suttie, J. M. Toxicological evaluation of New Zealand deer velvet powder. Part I: acute and subchronic oral toxicity studies in rats. Food Chem.Toxicol. 2000;38:985-990. View abstract.
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  9. Anon. Human clinical trials show significant results for New Zealand deer antler velvet's effect on sports performance. www.prnewswire.com (Accessed 7 March 2000).
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Last reviewed - 03/04/2021