Porcupine “dates” or bezoars
I have to say how amazing that in this day and age people still cling on to the notion that some things can have magical healing properties. It is most unfortunate of these things come from nature and results in the endangering of wild life species or cause untold harm to animals (e.g. rhinoceros horns, bile from bears). We had an enquiry about Porcupine Dates or Porcupine Bezoar (箭豬棗) and I must say a few of my patients had tried taking this for low blood counts (to no effect) and I have to say it seems to fall in the “magical” and “mystical” belief category of TCM.
Can you believe that a magic bullet exists which can cure all sorts of diseases including cancer, epilepsy, dengue, typhoid? If you do, someone is going to sell you this miracle magic bullet for a huge sum of money and sadly, there will be many who will in desperation part with money for false promises of cure. This very fact alone should raise the Red Flag of Quackery.
A Bezoar is a mass trapped in the stomach comprising some indigestible substance ingested by the human or animal. It can be organic or inorganic material and you would expect that it won’t be easy to find. By any stretch of the imagination can you believe something like that will have medicinal properties?
Whether you believe in magic or not, perhaps you can also spare a thought for the poor porcupines?
I note that Only Health Malaysia did a write up and I reproduce their article here for your referenceQA_Mar2010
In summary, no, there there is no clinical evidence that Porcupine Bezoar cures cancer or other serious medical illness. It belongs to the category of mystical and magical belief in Alternatives to Medicine. Please save your money and spare the poor porcupines.