Eating donkey hide gelatin for lustrous skin?

The picture I posted yesterday on the Viva Woman Facebook Page certainly got many of you interested! I had many funny and interesting answers and I had an enjoyable time reading and answering them. A few thought it looks gross while some said it’s a healthy snack although I personally thought the picture I posted look more like some black soap!  Anyway, a few came close to guessing what this is but all were missing the key ingredient, which is DONKEY SKIN. Yes, no kidding! This is a donkey skin gelatin or better known as ‘Ejiao’ in Chinese and is made with donkey skin, black sesame, walnut, dried longans and rice wine. And it was ordered and flown in from China.

Health and beauty benefits
In fact, I learnt that donkey skin is made into a cold appetizer in China. It is reported to have many health benefits as it can promote blood circulation and increase the reproduction of cells; its beautifying effect is also much sought after by women. (source: China Daily) It is reported to have great anti-aging effects, namely increasing elasticity of the skin, improving skin tone, preventing wrinkles and even eradicating pigmented spots.

Bought from China
Donkey skin is considered a herb in China and this gelatin was purchased from a big medical hall there. I was introduced to this gelatin by my bestie and she has been taking it for 5 weeks. I noticed that her skin tone has improved and is looking rather lustrous these days. She, in turn, was introduced by a relative who also reported good results after taking the gelatin. So I was quite eager to try it and she gave me about half a slab and I’ve been taking it for a couple of days now. Although it does not look appetizing but it’s really tasty and reminds me of some rum cake. However, the combination of ingredients makes this a rather ‘heaty’ gelatin and I actually found my body becoming quite warm after eating this. So I have to cut my intake down to taking just one or two cubes a day.

Donkey skin capsules are available
These are cut up from the original slab and because they’re meant to be eaten as a snack, so I cut them into small cubes. My bestie has the recipe to make this as well but it takes a lot of effort as the mixture has to be stirred continuously for a few hours. The donkey skin gelatin is available in Chinese medical halls and I understand a big slab is around S$150 – $200. Please don’t ask me where to get this because I have no idea but if you have friends or contacts in China, you should be able to find out easily. My bestie got it through a relative based in China and hence, she has no idea of where to get it either. But I searched the Net and found that capsules are also available but I suspect the gelatin is more effective.

Eat at your own disretion
I actually didn’t think much about eating this but when I started to write this entry, I wondered if others are offended that this is made from donkey skin. But I’m Chinese and so we eat some stuff that are well…less common. And if you ask me, eating donkey meat is no different from eating beef or lamb so it doesn’t raise my eyebrows that the Chinese in China eat donkey meat sandwiches. And I’ll say if you want to eat this, do exercise your discretion. Personally, I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to beauty and this is fine by my standard going by the ingredients used. But I don’t think we have this donkey skin gelatin in Singapore and if you want to try it, you’ll have to get it from China.

My question is: would you eat it?

Fairy tale of Donkey Skin
By the way, eating this reminds me of the Donkey Skin, a French fairy tale told by Charles Perrault about a princess who used a donkey skin as a disguise to avoid marrying her own father. Donkey skins are really useful! And maybe the princess ate some for her beauty too! (#k8SjZc9Dxk-#k8SjZc9Dxk)


  1. Winnie says:

    I would have never guessed!!! How does it taste? I will say “No, thanks” to this beauty food ?

  2. MissQ says:

    Wow yes this is indeed a strange supplement! Would have never guessed it. But China IS well known for “exotic” food… Any living thing that has its back facing the sky can be eaten! :S

  3. lemon says:

    I have heard about it and seen a documentary on it. Did you experience any improvement? Please update, thanks.

  4. sesame says:

    It’s tasty! Reminds me of some rum cake or liquor chocolate.

  5. sesame says:

    Haha…that’s right…they eating anything. ?

  6. sesame says:

    Too early to tell but I saw improvement in my bestie’s skin – she has been taking for 5 weeks.

  7. stella says:

    well, being chinese, i wouldn’t bat an eyelid eating this either BUT i must say i wouldn’t eat anything, especially anything touting ‘medicinal properties’ bought from china on a long-term basis–unless i am an expert on grading the product, because i have serious safety concerns about these…i mean, even tourists from china buy their tcm products from reputable medical halls in singapore!

  8. Veira says:

    Oh my goodness! I thought this was seaweed. It is indeed interesting to know of such special remedy but to try it….is another question altogether ? Keen to find out those who are brave enough to try!

  9. EcoBeauty says:

    Chinese hubby has been encouraging me to take donkey hide gelatin, saying it would give me heavenly skin. But his real intention was to make me take it for health reasons– same with all the awful-tasting tonics and teas I’m forced to take especially when I get sick.

  10. AtelierGal says:


    At first I thought it was soap but decided against it, because I spied the orange thingy might be wolfberry.

    I wouldn’t dare try, unless someone offers me a 100 bucks.

  11. Soos says:

    What AtelierGal said!

  12. sesame says:

    We did have that consideration too but not much choice if we want to try this…even if my bestie make her own, she would still have to get the donkey skin from China.

    Anyway, a lot of the medicine here are from China too and this is from a reputable mediicine hall where the gelatin was custom made, so we just refuse to think about it. Haha…

  13. sesame says:

    It’s not too bad…just that donkey skin is alien to us so there is that mental resistance for most pple.

  14. sesame says:

    Try it! Haha…if you hubby recommends, it means it’s effective too. ?

  15. sesame says:

    I can provide you a cube to try but not going to pay you to eat it! ?

  16. sesame says:

    Same answer I gave AtelierGal! Heheh. ?

  17. Issa says:

    e would try this if i can get it easily down here…. ?

  18. sesame says:

    Unfortunately, donkey skin seems only available in China at the moment…

  19. QQ says:

    I love to buy, but so many of them selling it. worried too. which is the medicine hall that your friend bought it from?

  20. sesame says:

    I have no idea…her relative based in China got it or something. She said it’s a well know one in Beijing. She also recently got another one from Guangzhou.

  21. Erika@placebo life says:

    donkey hide glue has always been an ancient wisdom health food for the ladies. last time i was in beijing we bought some in its original medicine form, definitely not as tasty as your snack!

  22. N. says:

    Hm. . . the idea of donkey skin isn’t very.. appealing. But I would eat it if were a bit more attractive.

  23. sesame says:

    I think it has to be cooked with the other stuff like longan, walnuts, sesame, etc to be tasty. Apparently, my friend’s relative had to buy the donkey skin gelatin and then get the pple from the medical hall to cook it.

  24. sesame says:

    Haha…yes, it doesn’t look apetitizing.

  25. Sarah Bellum says:

    This is really interesting. At first glance I would have dismissed the idea that eating gelatin can improve your skin because it’s broken down in your digestive tract. But I did some quick research and found a 2010 study done 2010 with mice eating gelatin and being protected against skin-collagen loss from sunlight.

    Here’s the relevant section:
    “…that the mice exposed to the ultraviolet light but did not receive the gelatin had a 53% average decrease in the collagen content of their skin compared to the mice who were not exposed. But the exposed mice that ate gelatin had no collagen decrease at all. In fact, they had an average increase in collagen of 17%…”

    Very interesting! I may have to get me some donkey skin!

  26. sesame says:

    Haha…I hope you can find the donkey skin…they’re a bit difficult to source outside China. I heard we can get them here but it’s very expensive.

  27. Ari says:

    I have been ‘taking’ this for 5 months now (this will be the fifth). I did not know about all of these other properties. A Chinese friend of mine takes it and when her husband sent her a box from China, she shared it with me (I am not Chinese). She told me to take it a few days before my period. I only ate the first one not to offend her and I meant only to eat one tiny bite. It actually tastes quite good like some sort of gummy candy with walnuts and I assumed (until I just found it at this site) that something was lost in translation and it had nothing to do with donkeys after all. (The one she gave me comes pre-cut and prepackaged in one inch by 1.5 inch by 1/4 inch cubes and is much prettier than your version.)

    I suffer from fibroids and long, heavy periods with lots of cramps. The first month I took this my period was extremely heavy for two days and then disappeared! I thought that was weird (my periods last over 7 days on average). In the 3 following months, my cramps have lessened, the extremely heavy days haven’t returned; I get one heavy to very heavy day and much shorter periods and fewer cramps. I don’t know if it could be because of the ONE cube I eat per month- doesn’t seem logical. However I haven’t really been doing anything else differently either so who knows?

  28. sesame says:

    One cube per month? Hmm…is it donkey skin or perhaps something else? I know of some Chinese herbal medicine that helps with PMS and related syndromes. I wasn’t aware that donkey skin gelatin can help those issues though.

  29. Ari says:

    Supposedly it helps with blood circulation which minimized the clots which cause my cramps… Sorry for the graphic description! TMI?

    But like I said, I only eat one a few days before my period so I don’t know if that’s the reason for the change; it just seems to be. And yes, definitely donkey skin.

  30. sesame says:

    Now that you mentioned this, I now remember that I was having a persistent cough when I took this. After about 2 days, my cough stopped. My friend had told me that it can help with cough so probably it offers a host of other health benefits too.

  31. carrie says:

    I don’t think i could ever take any form of donkey skin, even if it was in pill form. That greasy donkey skin picture ruined it for me ?

  32. sesame says:

    Haha…but it’s not greasy.

  33. trish janky says:

    I wish to learn the recipe because here in Botswana I keep a farm full of donkeys jus for milk and my butchery. I should stop throwing away the skins n utilize it into something profitable. Please share with me more about donkey meat. Here people don’t eat tht much but some tribes reaLly buy the meat and milk for their babies. How can I improve my business.

  34. Natalie says:

    I’m a Chinese and I study Chinese herbs (I’m not an expert though).

    However, after suffering from my first period at 12, I found it nourished my blood & at the same time can stop bleeding which are the functions of the donkey skin. After taking it, my anemia / dizziness / lack of energy has gone by good blood circulation.

    I just want to say here that my Dr. suggested me to take the 4th day of my period as it would stop bleeding. 4th day is the best time to take.

    Please read this for my information:

    It also mentioned it may cause indigestion & “heatiness”. So, it’s not just taking one thing is good for you. You should go to see a Dr. to mix other herbs together to fit yourself as everybody’s body condition is not the same. For example, you can be born to be a heaty type or cool type. Everybody is different!

  35. Natalie says:

    Sorry, forgot to attach the donkey skin information:

  36. Sesame says:

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right but sometimes, it’s not always feasible to consult a Dr especially if it’s not a serious condition.

  37. Lois says:

    There’s donkey skin in parts of West Africa like the Burkina Faso

  38. lorikot says:

    My community eat donkeys and its meat has great difference from other meats. My community say it treat many diseases.

  39. Carol McPhee says:

    People are stealing donkeys from poor African peasants … do NOT buy into this. Any amino acid you can get from gelatin you can get by eating jelly sweets…gelatin is fully digested to amino acids in the gut and there are numerous food sources for those…This is cobblers.

  40. m4rtina says:

    Tried it with a Rhemannia formulation. Works according to its promise for both elasticity and sun protection against collagen decomposition. (Tried it on hot Dalian suunny day in China.) I took 10g divided into three doses daily, had to stop after 4 days because it raised my body temperature and I am already a ‘hot’ type. It will also enhance any autoimmune condition you may have. I wonder if it could be made into a cream? I remember that Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk. Any suggestions?

  41. Claudia Tatnall says:

    Did you know: The donkeys are stolen all over the countries to meet the demand. Is it not enough that animals suffer all over the world for being our food? Now we kill them to end up as beauty-boosters, steal them from poor people who need them to work with or even from habitats. This is wrong on so many levels! I rather age gracefully than join into that !!! It is disgusting!!!

  42. E Stanley says:

    3 years ago I lived in Kenya, a Chinese donkey abbatior was opened in Rongai a small town outside of Nakuru. I had to drive past herds of 10- 40 donkeys, I have close friends who live in the road that you follow down to the abbatoir and she says at least 6 times a day and during the night donkeys are seen walking down the road for slaughter. These donkeys are in terrible health, not watered, fed , allowed to graze grass, or given rest. They are bought and often stolen from poor poverty ridden subsistence farmers who depend on donkeys for their transport, ploughing, pulling carts, carrying goods etc. I would be very surprised if these donkeys were ever wormed or vaccinated for any disease or parasites. Any product made from these donkeys could not be classed as a ‘health’ product based on the health of the animal. Ethically any donkey skin meat product from Kenya should not be taken. The Chinese have not created any sort of sustainable market for it or sustainable production of donkeys. And there was certainly no overpopulation problems of donkeys as they are worked so hard and given little attention life spans are short.
    If you want beautiful skin, eat green and colorful veg stay out of the sun and drink lots of water.

Leave a Reply