Introduction of Lou Gu:Mole Cricket or Gryllotalpa.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Mole Cricket, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its source two insect species, ①.Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure., ②.Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois., with a detailed introduction to the features of these two insect species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two insect species, the features of the herb Mole Cricket, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

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.

 Animal source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Gryllotalpa(Mole Cricket) as the dried body of the species (1). Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure., or (2). Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois. They are insects of the Grylloidea family of the Orthoptera order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure.

 Gryllotalpa unispina Saussure Insect 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 of the insects is slightly larger, 3.9~4.5 cm long, the body color is slightly lighter, the abdomen is cylindrical, and there is a thorn on the dorsal inner edge of the tibiofibular segment of the hindfoot.

(2).Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois.

 Gyllotalpa africana Palisot et Beaurois. Insect 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: The body of the insects is mostly broken, and the intact ones are 2~3.3 cm long and 4~10 mm wide. The head is tea brown mixed with dark brown; The compound eye is black and shiny; The membranous wings are mostly broken, the foot is mostly broken, and there are 3~4 thorns on the dorsal inner edge of the tibiofibular segment of the hindfoot. The abdomen is nearly spindle-shaped, knuckled, shriveled, and light yellow. The texture of the herb is soft, it has a special odor when crushed.

 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: ①.Internally:water decoction,1~1.5 qian(about 3~4.5 grams), or prepare to powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and sprinkle, or stuff nose;②.Internally:water decoction,3~4.5 grams,prepare to finely ground herb powder,1~2 grams.Externally:proper amount,prepare to finely ground herb powder,apply smear.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Gryllotalpa forbidden using during pregnancy.

Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics.

 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.
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