Rhino Horns

About Rhino Horns

Rhino horns are made of keratin – in rhinoceros horn, it is chemically complex and contains large quantities of Sulphur-containing amino acids, particularly cysteine, as well as tyrosine, histidine, lysine, and arginine, and the salts calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate.

South Africa is home to the majority of rhinos in the world, it is being heavily targeted. Horns of the African rhino weigh on average 1.5-3.0 kilograms (3.3-6.6 pounds), with white rhino having the heaviest front horn which on average weighs 4.0 kilograms (8.8 pounds). On its snout it has two horns. The front horn is larger than the other horn and averages 90 cm (35 in) in length and can reach 150 cm (59 in).

Uses

Traditional Chinese Medicine

1. According to traditional Chinese texts, such as Li Shih-chen’s 1597 medical text “Pen Ts’ ao Kang Mu”, rhino horn has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years and is used to treat fever, rheumatism, gout, and other disorders. It also states that the horn could also cure snakebites, hallucinations, typhoid, headaches, carbuncles, vomiting, food poisoning, and “devil possession.” When used, the horn is shaved or ground into a powder, before being dissolved in boiling water and consumed.

2. The horn is also used to make dagger handles in countries such as Yemen and Oman. These daggers handle are very expensive and a symbol of prestige in these countries

3. Museums and private collectors worldwide prize these antiques for both their beauty and monetary value.