The gelatin is produced in several coastal provinces of China: Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong. Shandong’s Dong’e Lettres Edifiantes Et Curieuses, Ecrites Des Missions Etrangeres, Volume 4 PDF was where « ejiao » got its name.
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1723 account by the French Jesuits Dominique Parrenin, there was a well in Dong’e which was normally kept closed and sealed, and which was only opened when water was taken to be used in preparation of ejiao for the emperor’s court. It was supposed to be made from the skin of a recently killed well-nourished black donkey. Ejiao is either prepared as dry gelatin or mixed with powdered oyster shell or pollen to form glue balls. In the 21st century, ejiao manufacturers experience problems with the supply of genuine donkey hides, as fewer people raise these animals these days. The decreasing supply combined with strong demand for ejiao has led to greatly increased prices for donkey hides in China.
This trend is also supported by restrictions on importing animal hides from outside the country. In the mid-2010s, donkey prices in many places around the world began to rise sharply amid Chinese herbalism demands. Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal have banned donkey exports to China. It is used for several different types of complaint. An amount of 5 to 10 grams may be dissolved in hot water or wine and mixed with other ingredients in the traditional Chinese materia medica or taken alone. It is used for a variety of conditions including bleeding, dizziness, insomnia and a dry cough.