Introduction of Jiang Can:Stiff Silkworm or Bombyx Batryticatus.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Stiff Silkworm, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its source one insect species, ①.Bombyx mori L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this insect species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this insect species, the features of the herb Stiff Silkworm, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Bombyx Batryticatus (Stiff Silkworm).

Bombyx Batryticatus:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Jiānɡ Cán, or Bái Jiānɡ Cán
 English Name: Stiff Silkworm, or White silkworm
 Latin Name: Bombyx Batryticatus.
 Property and flavor: cool, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Bombyx Batryticatus is the dried body of the 4~5th stage larva of Bombyx mori L., dead and stiffened due to Beauveria bassiana fungus infection, used (1).to extinguish endogenous wind for relieving convulsions, (2).to resolve phlegm and dissipate nodulation for the treatment of scrofula, and (3).to dispel exogenous wind in the cases of wind-heat afflictions such as sore throat, hoarseness of voice and urticaria. The herb is commonly known as Bombyx Batryticatus, Stiff Silkworm, Jiānɡ Cán.

 Source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Bombyx Batryticatus (Stiff Silkworm) as the dried body of the 4~5th stage larva of Bombyx mori L., dead and stiffened due to Beauveria bassiana fungus infection. The Bombyx mori L. is a small animal of the Bombyx genus, the Bombycidae family(silkworm moths family) of the Lepidoptera order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Bombyx mori L.

 Bombyx mori L. Insect Description: It is commonly known as Sāng Cán, or Jiā Cán é (silkworm moth), a kind of silk-producing insects. The male and female silkworm moths are densely covered with white scales. Body length is 1.6-2.3 cm long, and expansus is 3.9-4.3 cm. The body wings are yellowish white to ash gray (grayish-white), the apical angle of the forewing out edge is concave backward, the transverse lines are slightly darker, not very conspicuous, end line and nervure (pterogostia) is taupe (dust color), the posterior wing is lighter than forewing, marginal scale hairs (scaly hairs) are slightly longer. The abdomen of the female moth is stout, the end is blunt; the abdomen of the male month is narrow, and the end is slightly pointed. Its larva is silkworm, its body color is ash gray (grayish-white) to white, and the 2nd and 3rd segment of its chest is slightly enlarged and has wrinkles. The back of the 8th segment of the abdomen has a caudal horn. It is raised in most areas of China.

 Mulberry silkworm also known as silkworm, mulberry leaves for food, silk-spinning as a cocoon, one of the economic insects. Mulberry silkworm was originated from China. It was domesticated from the primitive silkworm that resided in mulberry trees in ancient times. It is homologous to the tussore (wild silkworm) that eats mulberry trees in China today.

 Silkworm larva eats mulberry leaves before the pupa spits out a large amount of silk for the cocoon, the cocoon is an important textile raw material. Silkworms are holometabolous insects, through the life it passes eggs, larvae, pupae, adults, and other four stages of development, the form and physiological function are completely different. The egg is the stage when the embryo develops and forms the larva, the larva is the growth stage when the food is absorbed, the pupa is the period of metamorphosis when the larva turns to the adult, and the adult is the reproductive stage when the adult mates, lays eggs and produces the offspring. The whole generation feeds only in the larval stage and stores nutrients for life activities in the pupa and adult stages.

 Silkworms were originated in China. It was domesticated from the primitive silkworm (tussore) that inhabited mulberry trees in ancient times. Its morphology and habits are very similar to that of today's Bombyxmandarina which feeds on mulberry leaves. The serum precipitation reaction intensity is also the same. The chromosomes of silkworms are in 28 pairs, and a tussore (wild silkworm) has 27 pairs and 28 pairs. Human beings probably collected primitive tussore (wild silkworm) cocoons from the mulberry forest to obtain silk for use at first. With the settlement of human life and the further understanding of the use of silk trials in indoor sericulture. After a long time of cultivation and selection, tussore (wild silkworm) was gradually domesticated into today's silkworm species.

 Life habits: Silkworm is an oligophagous insect, which likes mulberry leaves as well as the cudrania triloba leaves, elm leaves, ravens, dandelion, and lettuce leaves. Silkworm needs essential nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, inorganic salts, and water. Mulberry leaf is the most suitable natural food for silkworms. After eating mulberry, the larvae grow rapidly. In the right temperature condition, a silkworm exuviate about once every 6~9 days from hatching to spinning cocoons, which takes about 24~32 days and eats 20~30 grams of mulberry leaves (5~6.2 grams of compound dry matter). Generally, after four times of sleeping and molting, the body weight increases about 10,000 times when the growth is extreme. Spinning cocoons is an instinct for the silkworm to adapt to its environment. Mulberry cocoon can be used for reeling silk, silk is a precious textile raw material, used in military, electricity, and other aspects of a wide range of uses. Silkworm pupae, moth, and silkworm dung can also be used comprehensively. They are the raw materials of various chemical and pharmaceutical industries and can also be used as food for plants. Silkworm is a holometabolous insect, which goes through four developmental stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult in one generation. The number of generations occurring naturally in one year is called "one generation", "two generations" and "more than three generations". Tropical areas also have year-round non-diapause polymorphic varieties. The temperature range of development varies with the development period, roughly between 7~40 °C (Celsius, or 44.6~104 degrees Fahrenheit), and the temperature range of normal development is 20~30 °C (Celsius, or 68~86 degrees Fahrenheit). The adaptability of silkworms to the meteorological environment throughout the year is directly reflected in the strength of the silkworm body. The healthy tussore (wild silkworm) can produce good cocoons. Therefore, cocoon quality is taken as the index to measure the strength of the tussore (wild silkworm) body.

 Morphological features: The main purpose of silkworm aquiculture and poultry is silkworm cocoon and silk, Silkworm life passes through the egg, larva, pupa, and adult in four stages of development, and the form and physiological function are completely different.

 Bombyx mori L. Larva: long cylindrical shape, composed of the head, chest, abdomen, 3 parts. The head is covered with a taupe bony shell, and the chest has 1 pair of pedis in each of the 3 segments. There are 4 pairs of gastropods and 1 pair of tail pedis in the 10 segments of the abdomen. There are one pair of valves on each side of the 1st thoracic segment and 1 to 8 ventral segments. Newly hatched larvae, covered with black and brown bristles, with bodies as small as ants, known as silkworms. The silkworm feeds on mulberry leaves and grows quickly, the body color turns green and white gradually. The cuticle of its body should be cast off many times, this kind of phenomenon is called exuviate, it is the result of the eutrophic that the pharyngeal lateral body secretes inside the silkworm body and the exuviate hormone that the thymus secretes jointly action. Before ecdysis, the larva stops eating mulberry, spins silk on the silkworm seat, fixes the silkworm body with gastropod and tail foot, motionless, and sleep. Sleep is the age limit, increasing by 1 year with each sleep. Weight and volume increase significantly with age. The number of ecdysis is known as sleepiness, which is genetically controlled but can also be altered by living conditions. Silkworm has three sleep, four sleep, five sleep, etc. The commonly used silkworm species in production is four sleep and 5-year-old silkworm. When the larva grows to the 2nd~3rd day of the 5th age, can differentiate male and female according to the characteristics: the female silkworm has 1 pair of milky white dots on the ventral surface of the 8th and 9th ventral segments respectively, called stone du's gland; The male silkworm has a milky white capsule in the middle of the anterior ventral border of the 9th ventral segment, called hirschner's gland. At age 5, when they reach their peak, their body weight increases by about 10,000 times. Then gradually reduce the amount of mulberry and stop eating. When the front half of the body turns transparent, mature silkworms begin to spin silk knot cocoons. The cocooning process takes about 2~3 days. The length of the larval stage varies according to silkworm species and feeding conditions. Generally, spring silkworm is about 24~26 days at 24~25 °C (Celsius, or 75.2~77 degrees Fahrenheit), and summer and autumn silkworm are about 21~23 days at 26~28 °C (Celsius, or 78.8~82.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

 Shell time: 5~10 o'clock. Phototaxis, yellow light, green light, and white light are stronger. After 4 days of age 5, the body length no longer increased, ranging from 6~8 cm. Two days after the age of 5, the female silkworm has a pair of milky white or transparent dots on the ventral surface of the 8th and 9th ventral segment, with distinct degrees in individuals. The female is usually larger than the male. Cocoon in 1~2 days, silkworm silk-spinning mostly in the darkness.

 Suitable temperature: 22~28 °C (Celsius, or 71.6~82.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the optimum temperature is 23.8~25 °C (Celsius, or 74.84~77 degrees Fahrenheit), from incubation to spinning cocoon, generally needs 24~30 days in spring or about 20~24 days in summer and autumn.

 Pupa: mature silkworm spinning finish, the body reduced slightly fusiform (spindle-shaped), motionless, then called latent pupa (pre-pupa). Chrysalis is the period when the dermis separates from the old larva epidermis and forms the pupa epidermis, which takes about 2 days. Pupal molting is the result of molting hormone. The newly molted pupa is fusiform (spindle-shaped), cream white, and later turns dark brown. The pupa body is divided into three parts: head, chest, and abdomen. The abdomen of the female pupa is large, and the end is obtuse and round. The male pupa has a small, terminal apex with a small brown dot in the middle of the ventral surface of the 9th ventral segment. The weight of the pupa is 1.5~2.5 grams. The destruction of larval tissues, the occurrence and formation of adult tissues, the development and maturation of germ cells, and other physiological processes take place in the pupa. After pupae, adult development is completed in about 14 days, At this time by the brain nerve secretion cells synthesis and storage in the pharyngeal side of the body of the eclosion hormone, because of light stimulation and secreted into the blood, in about 40 minutes pupa eclosion.

 The appropriate temperature of silkworm chrysalis is 22.8~26.7 °C (Celsius, or 73.04~80.06 degrees Fahrenheit), the optimal temperature is 23.9~24.4 °C (Celsius, or 75.02~75.92 degrees Fahrenheit), the best temperature should not exceed 28 °C (Celsius, or 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Pupation takes 1~2 days, the pupal stage is 15 to 18 days, and opening the cocoon takes 10 to 11 days. On the second day, the pupa was protected at 28 °C (Celsius, or 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours, and non-diapause eggs are easy to produce.

 Silkworm pupae should be refrigerated on the third day of pupae transformation. The appropriate temperature for refrigeration is 2.5~10 °C (Celsius, or 36.5~50 degrees Fahrenheit), the optimal temperature is 5~7.5 °C (Celsius, or 41~45.5 degrees Fahrenheit), and the starting temperature for development is 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

 The female pupa has a hypertrophic abdomen, a longitudinal line on the midline of the ventral surface of the 8th ventral segment, and the male pupa has a small point at the junction of the midline of the 8th and 9th ventral segments.

 Adult: After the cocoon, the adult spits alkaline intestinal liquid, to wet and loosen the cocoon layer of the head end, and open the cocoon silk with the chest and pedis, from the cocoon. Wings at first are soft and folded, later the moth's body turns dry and wings spread. The whole body is covered with white scales. On both sides of the head, there are a pair of compound eyes and a pair of pectinate antennae with a sense of touch and smell. There are 1 pairs of pedis on the ventral surface of the front, middle and back of the chest, and 1 pair of wings on the back of the middle and back of the chest. Female moth has 7 abdomen segments, male moth has 8. The external genitalia of the male moth changed from the 9th and 10th ventral segments of the larva, and the external genitalia of the female moth changed from the 8th, 9th, and 10th ventral segments. During mating, the female moth extends the ovipositor and releases the sex pheromone (silkworm alcohol and silkworm aldehyde) from the alluring gland to attract the male moth. The fertilized eggs can be produced within 1.5 to 2 hours after mating. A female moth lays about 400~700 eggs, most of which are laid on the spawning day and end on the third day. Adult insects do not eat, after mating eggs, moths live about 10 days before natural death. Moths usually mate for 2 hours at 5~10 o'clock. After mating, they spawn 3~4 hours and die 5~12 days later. The appropriate temperature is 21~27 °C (Celsius, or 69.8~80.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

 Bombyx mori L. Egg: the egg is oval (egg-shaped) and slightly flat, about 1.3 mm long, 1.1~1.2 mm wide, 0.5~0.6 mm thick, one end is slightly blunt, another end is slightly pointed, the tip of the egg has a hole, is a fertilization channel. The size of eggs varies with silkworm species, feeding conditions, and pupal temperature. The weight of the egg is generally between 500 and 600 micrograms. When they were first laid, they were faint yellow (pale yellow) with a raised surface. Later, due to the evaporation of water and the consumption of nutrients inside the eggs, there is a depression in the middle of the egg surface, which is called the egg vortex. A normal egg is oval (egg-shaped), and the dead egg is triangular. The surface of the eggshell has uneven polygonal egg grain and countless needle-like breathing stomata. The contents of the egg are the yolk membrane, serous membrane, yolk, and embryo. The yolk membrane is close to the under surface of the eggshell, and is a layer of non-cellular transparent film; the serous membrane in its inside is a layer of large and flat polygonal cells. The yolk is the nutrient source of embryo development. The egg contains yolk inside, with the head toward the foramen of the egg, where the embryo develops gradually by ingesting nutrients.

 Silkworm eggs are divided into two types: diapause eggs (older eggs) and non-diapause eggs (older eggs). After laying non-diapause eggs, the embryo develops continuously and forms the silkworm and hatch in about 10 days. Diapause egg embryo develops to a certain degree that enters the diapause period namely, remove diapause through winter low temperature, till next year spring it is warm when it hatches. Whether the silkworm eggs diapause or not depends on whether the subpharyngeal ganglion of the pupa can secrete the diapause hormone. Diapause is also assisted by a hormone in the lateral body of the heart. When diapause eggs enter into the diapause stage, pigment granules are formed and deposited in serous membrane cells, which are dark brown. Non-diapause oocytes do not form pigment but remain pale yellow.

 The suitable incubation temperature of silkworm eggs is 20~30 °C (Celsius, or 68~86 degrees Fahrenheit), and the optimum temperature is 22~25.5 °C (Celsius, or 71.6~77.9degrees Fahrenheit), which takes 9~11 days. After spring, needs 2~9 days. In the spring when the natural temperature is above 12 °C (Celsius, or 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit), 22 to 27 days. It takes 30 ~ 100 days for the diapause eggs to be released. The appropriate temperature during the diapause period is 25~30 °C (Celsius, or 77~86 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature should not exceed 35 °C (Celsius, or 95 degrees Fahrenheit), and the humidity should be maintained several days before hatching. The temperature of eggs should not exceed 30 °C (Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit) within 3 hours after laying, so as not to affect the fertilization rate. Within 1 day after laying, if the temperature is too high, exceeding 30 °C (Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit), eggs are easy to convert into non-diapause eggs.

 Stiff Silkworm:herb photo Characters of herbs: The herb is slightly cylindrical, mostly bending and shriveled, 2~5 cm long, and 0.5~0.7 cm in diameter. The surface is sallow (grayish-yellow), covered with white powdery and creamy aerial hypha and conidiospore. The head is circular (roundish), with 8 pairs of pedis, somites are conspicuous, and the tail is slightly dichotonous (dichotomous). The texture of the herb is hard and crisp, easy to break, the fracture surface is flat, the outer layer is white, mealiness, the center has bright brown or coracinus (glossy black), which is commonly known as "glue mouth mirror", contains 4 silk gland rings inside, and are bright rings. The herb has a slightly fishy smell, it tastes slightly salty.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.hypnotic and anticonvulsant effects; ②.strong anticoagulant effect; ③.mild inhibition on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other bacteria; ④.effect of lowering blood sugar; ⑤.inhibiting tumors.

 Medicinal efficacy: Calming endogenous wind and relieving convulsion, dispersing pathogenic wind and relieving pain, reduce phlegm and eliminating stagnation, detoxifying and relieve sore throat. It is indicated for liver wind with phlegm, frightened epilepsy and convulsion, wind syndrome of head, acute infantile convulsions, tetanus, apoplexia and facial paralysis, stroke and aphonia (apoplexia and loss of voice), headache due to pathogenic wind-heat, migraine (migraine headaches) and aching all over the head, red eyes and pharyngalgia (acute conjunctivitis, sore throat), sorethroat (acute throat trouble), pharyngitis (throat obstruction), swelling and pain in throat, urticaria itching (measles and itching), acute suppurative parotitis (suppurative inflammation of check), mumps(an acute contagious viral disease characterized by fever and by swelling of the parotid glands), scrofula (lymphoid tuberculosis), urticaria (measles), sores poison, erysipelas (st.anthony's fire), mastitis (mastadenitis), etc.

 Administration of Bombyx Batryticatus (Jiānɡ Cán): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Bombyx Batryticatus (Jiānɡ Cán)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 5~10 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply or apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams;prepare to finely ground herb powder,1~3 grams;or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, wash with water decoction;prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply or apply stick.




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  • 1.Introduction of Jiang Can:Stiff Silkworm or Bombyx Batryticatus.

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