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Seeking donkey hide medicine

2014-10-20 08:51 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

City residents looking for a winter health kick will have to pay more for a popular tonic this year — following an increase in donkey hide prices.

As the colder months approach, the traditional Chinese medicine hospitals have begun dispensing gaofang, which includes donkey-hide glue, known as ejiao in Chinese.

More than 150,000 courses of gaofang were sold in Shanghai last year, a 10 percent increase on the previous year, said the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Association yesterday.

It is said to treat poor appetite and bad sleeping patterns caused by work and lifestyle pressures.

TCM figures expect demand to keep growing this year, but say the price will rise by 5 to 10 percent from last year, to about 2,000 yuan (US$323) per course.

The association says this is due to the rising price of ingredients such as ejiao, which is said to boost circulation.

Gaofang is usually taken from the winter solstice until spring.

According to a traditional saying, "Eat gaofang in winter and you can beat a tiger in spring."

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