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For hundreds of years, swiftlet nest had been accepted as a precious health food in China, where it was believed that swiftlet nests have medical and health enhancing effects. Descriptions of such effects are found in the works of two famous practitioners of Chinese medicine in the Qing Dynasty.

Chinese medical practitioners accept the medical and health-enhancing effects of swiftlet nest through centuries of observation and validation. Some people believe that swiftlet can slow down the aging process.It is believed that white swiftlet nests are rich in nutrients that provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, increasing libido, improving the vocal cord, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system.[2]

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The nests are built during the breeding season by the male swiftlet over a period of 35 days. They take the shape of a shallow cup stuck to the cave wall. The nests are composed of interwoven strands of salivary laminae cement. Both nests have high levels of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.[1]

  1. 1.Marcone, Massimo F. (2005) "Characterization of the edible bird's nest the Caviar of the East". Food Research International 38:1125-1134.

  2. 2.Hobbs, Joseph J. (2004) "Problems in the harvest of edible birds’ nests in Sarawak and Sabah, Malaysian Borneo." Biodiversity and Conservation 13: 2209-2226.