Introduction of Lou Gu:Mole Cricket or Gryllotalpa.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics.

 TCM Herbs Icon09 Introduction: Herbs Diuretics: also known as damp-draining diuretic herbs,an agent or substance herbs that increases urine excretion and water discharge for treating internal retention of dampness.

 
Gryllotalpa(Mole Cricket).

Gryllotalpa Pin Yin Name: Lóu Gū.
 English Name: Mole Cricket.
 Latin Name: Gryllotalpa.
 Property and flavor: cold, salty, mild toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Gryllotalpa is the dried body of Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois(family Gryllotalpidae), a diuretic for treating severe edema, ascites, and retention of urine. The herb is commonly known as Gryllotalpa, Mole Cricket, Chinese Mole Cricket, African Mole Cricket, Lóu Gū.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Gryllotalpa(Mole Cricket) as the dried body of the species (1). Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois., or (2). Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure. They are insects of the Grylloidea family of the Orthoptera order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois.


 Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois. Botanical description: It is commonly known as Fēi Zhōu Lóu Gū. The adult body length is 30~35 mm, taupe, abdominal color is relatively shallow, the whole body dense fine hair. Head is conical, antennae filamentous. Anterior pectoral dorsal plate ovoid, with middle~distinct dark red long heart-shaped depression. Forewings are grayish brown, shorter, reaching only midsection of the abdomen, hindwings fan-shaped, K, exceeding the end of the abdomen. End of the abdomen with 1 pair of caudate whiskers. The anterior foot is exhumed and the posterior foot has 4 spaces on the back and medial side of the shin joint. Male adult body length is 28~32 mm; Females is 32~34 mm. Body grayish brown, densely covered with yellow fine hair. The head is small, long and narrow, and the tentacles are filamentous. The posterior plate of the anterior chest is shield-shaped, with a fusiform region of fine hairs in the center. Forewings yellowish-brown, no articulator, hind wings folded into a strip, length slightly out of the end of the abdomen. The anterior foot is flat, good at digging, and the posterior foot has 3~4 motile spines at the dorsal inner edge of the lumen segment.

 Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois. Ecological environment: It lives in courtyards, fields, and damp places, especially in places where organic fertilizers have been applied in large quantities. Nocturnal has a strong habit of phototaxis. The insect distributes in the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang river area, northwest, Hainan, Taiwan, and another area of China, it also distributes in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Oceania, Hawaii, and other areas.

 Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois is a major pest in the world. It is an omnivorous insect, the insect and nymphs all eat crops. It is feed on all kinds of tree seedlings and freshly picked seeds, and dig holes in the ground to arch the seedlings down, causing great economic losses to the nursery.

 Growth characteristics: The Gyllotalpa africana habitat in courtyards, fields and wet places, especially in the area where a large amount of organic fertilizer used, many and dense. It hides in the daytime and comes out at night, has a strong phototropic habit, most active in spring and autumn, often comes out at night and dig soil surface into tunnels, hides in the hole during the day time, can fly.

 Mole Cricket:herb photo Characters of herbs: Most of the worms were broken, and the whole one was 2~3.3 cm long and 4~10 mm wide. The head is tea brown mixed with black-brown; Compound eye is black luster; More broken wing hymenium, foot more broken, posterior foot tibial segment dorsal inner edge has 3~4 thorns. Abdomen sub-spindle-shaped, knotted, wrinkled, pale yellow. Soft locust fragments have a peculiar odor.

(2).Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure.


 Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure Botanical description: It is commonly known as Gryllotalpa unispina, Huá Běi Lóu Gū, mole cricket, Tǔ Gǒu(Dog in soil).

 Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure:drawing Adult: female adult is 45~50 mm, male adult 39~45 mm. Shape like Africa mole cricket, but body yellowish-brown to dark brown, front chest backplate center has 1 heart-shaped red spots. Posterior foot tibialis dorsal inner margin with 1 spine or disappeared. The abdomen is nearly cylindrical, abaxially dark brown, the ventral yellowish-brown, the caudate beard is long about the length of the body.

 Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure:drawing Egg: oval. Length of first delivery 1.6~1.8 mm, wide 1.1~1.3 mm long before hatching. 4~2.8 mm, wide 1.5~1.7 mm. It is yellowish-white at birth, yellowish-brown later and dark gray before hatching.

 Nymphs: similar to adults, small, milky white at the initial incubation, yellow-brown after the second age, and the same color as adults after the age of five or six.

 Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure Ecological environment: It lives all over China, but mainly in the north, north of 32 degrees latitude. Gryllotalpa unispina, is a kind of omnivorous insect, can harm a variety of garden plants and flowers, fruit and trees, and a variety of ball root and block reed plant, mainly bites the underground part of the plant. The adults and nymphs bite the seedling roots and young stems of plants, and at the same time, the adults and nymphs dig tunnels under the soil to separate the seedling roots and the seedlings, causing the death of the seedlings, resulting in the seedling bed lack of seedlings and ridging.

 Characters of herbs: The body was slightly larger, 3.9~4.5 cm long, slightly lighter, cylindrical, with 1 thorn on the dorsal inner edge of the shin joint of the hind foot.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.diuretic effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Alleviate water retention, alleviate water retention and treat stranguria, relaxing the bowels, detumescence(reduce swelling) and detoxification. It is indicated for edema, urolithiasis(urolithic stranguria), dysuria(difficulty in micturition), scrofula(lymphoid tuberculosis), carbuncle swollen boils and malignant sore, etc.

 Administration of Gryllotalpa(Lóu Gū): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Gryllotalpa(Lóu Gū)
TCM Books: N/A(CP),Internally:water decoction,1~1.5 qian(about 3~4.5 grams), or prepare to powder.Externally:grinded into fine powder and sprinkle, or stuff nose(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,3~4.5 grams,grinded into fine powder,1~2 grams.Externally:proper amount,grinded into fine powder,apply smear(CHMM).
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Gryllotalpa forbidden using during pregnancy.

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Lou Gu:Mole Cricket or Gryllotalpa.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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