• Hinton Magazine

Bear Bile, Rhino Horns and Donkey Skins; Chinese Medicine Barbaric or Beneficial?

China’s controversial shopping list for parts of threatened species, in the name of Chinese Medicine is investigated by documentary filmmaker Hannah Sweeney.



Sun bear bile, skins of donkeys in Brazil, Rhino horns and tiger parts are all part of China’s illegal wildlife trade for specialised ‘Herbal Medicine’.

In Series four of The Healing Hunter, Hannah Sweeney asks the question from inside the Chinese Medicines doctor’s office, "do the benefits of Chinese medicine outweigh the controversy?"


Over eight episodes, Hannah is joined by Professor Ke, founder and principal of Asanté Academy of Chinese Medicine to discuss herbal medicine, its history, the Chinese Medicine ‘way of life’ and traditional treatments including cupping, acupuncture, moxibustion and Tunia massage. This ancient and holistic approach aims to prevent and heal diseases by bringing the body into balance so it can self-heal.


Professor Ke says: “Chinese Medicine is very effective and widely used around the world. It will improve not only client’s medical conditions but their overall health and wellbeing.”



Hannah Sweeney says: Chinese medicine is both a trusted and widely used practice and at the same time, wildly contencious. I wanted to see how common the use of illegal animal substances really is and whether there is a beneficial middle ground inside this holistic practice.

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