Introduction of Meng Chong:Gadfly or Tabanus.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Gadfly, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined source two insect species, ①.Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura., ②.Tabanus chrysurus Loew., and other two usable insect species, ③.Tabanus mandarinus Schiner., ④.Atylotus bivittateinus Takahasi., with a detailed introduction to the features of these four insect species, the life habits and growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these four insect species, the features of the herb Gadfly, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


Tabanus:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Ménɡ Chónɡ.
 English Name: Gadfly.
 Latin Name: Tabanus.
 Property and flavor: cool, bitter, toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Tabanus is the dried female insect of Tabanus bivittatus Matsum, used to break stasis and reduce swellings for the treatment of severe cases of blood stasis, such as amenorrhea and gynecological mass. The herb is commonly known as Tabanus, Gadfly, Ménɡ Chónɡ.

 Insect source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Tabanus(Gadfly) as the dried female insect of the species (1). Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura., (2). Tabanus chrysurus Loew. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Tabanus(Gadfly) as the dried female insect of the species (3). Tabanus mandarinus Schiner., (4). Atylotus bivittateinus Takahasi. They are small insects of the Tabanus genus, the Tabanidae family(family Tabanidae) of the Diptera order. These 2 commonly used species and the other 2 usable species are introduced:

(1).Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura.

 Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura. Description: The insect is commonly known as Fù Dài Méng, or Niú Méng Chóng. Female gadfly body length is 13~17 mm, yellow-green. Compound eyes are big, hairless, with a narrow black band in the middle. Its forehead is yellowish or slightly grayish; The top of the head is covered with short hairs. Antennae are yellow, the 3rd segment is hypertrophic, and the base is with blunt dorsal protrusions. The base of the lips and the cheeks are yellowish-gray. The 2nd segment of the mandibular beard is pale yellow, covered with white, and mixed with short black hairs. Its middle chest is a backplate, and side plate, and the reticular structure is gray-yellow, with yellow short hairs, and miscellaneous black and yellow gray long hair, wings are transparent without spots, with a yellow balance rod. Its feet are in 3 pairs, the middle and posterior feet are gray at 1/3 of the base of the femoral node; The tarsus of the forefoot and the tip of the tibia of the forefoot are black. The tip of the middle and posterior tarsus is dark brown. Its belly is dark yellow-gray; The first 1~3 or 1~4 ventral segments have large yellow spots on both sides of the backplate, with a dark yellow longitudinal band in the middle, and the width is about 1/4 ~ 1/3 of the width of the abdomen. The abdomen is covered with dense yellow or yellowish-gray short hairs, sometimes interspersed with black short hairs. Ventral gray, yellow on both sides of 1st to 2nd or 1st to 3rd reticulations. Male gadflies are similar in shape, but smaller, with compound eyes covered with fine gray hairs.

 Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura. Female gadflies feed on cattle, horses, donkeys, and the blood of other livestock; The male gadfly does not suck blood but only sucks the juice of plants.

 Tabanus bivittatus Matsumura. Ecological Environment: The insect usually lives in grass and woods. It likes sunshine, and activity in the daytime. It is distributed in most areas of the country. The insect is mainly produced in the southwest, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the northern area, and other areas of China.

 Life habits: Female insects feed on the blood of animals such as cows and horses, while male insects feed on plant juice instead of blood. The insects often living in grass and woods, prefers sunshine, activities in the daytime.

 Gadfly:herb photo Characters of herbs: The dry insect body is oblong, 1.5~2 cm long, 5~10 mm wide. The head is dark brown and the compound eyes are mostly lost. The chest is dark brown, the back is crust-like and glossy, and the wings are longer than the tail; The chest is prominent, dark brown, with 3 pairs of feet, often broken. The abdomen is brownish-yellow, and has 6 individual segments. The texture of the herb is loose and crisp, easily broken. The herb smells bad and tastes bitter and salty. The herb of a better grade is large, complete, and free of impurities.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anticoagulant effect, activate the fibrinolysis system; ②.stimulate the uterus of rabbits in vitro; ③.inhibit the formation of hepatic hemorrhagic necrosis caused by endotoxin.

 Medicinal efficacy: Eliminate blood stasis, break stagnation, break blood stasis, restoring menstrual flow. It is indicated for the treatment of abdominal mass, accumulation, blood-retention in the lower abdomen, amenorrhea due to blood stagnation or blood stasis, postpartum lochiorrhagia, tuberculosis of dry blood, blood stasis from a fall injury, wound and hurt from injuries, carbuncle swelling, pharyngitis (throat obstruction).

 Administration of Tabanus (Ménɡ Chónɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Tabanus (Ménɡ Chónɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1 qian (about 1.5~3 grams),or prepare to finely ground herb powder, take 1~2 fen (about 0.3~0.6 grams) each time, or prepare to pill,powder; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 grams; prepare to finely ground herb powder, 0.3~0.6 grams;or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick,or mixed and smear apply.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:should forbidden using the herb Tabanus during pregnancy, menstruation, syndromes without blood stasis, deficiency of Qi and blood. Should not be used during pregnancy, or lead to abortion.

(2).Tabanus chrysurus Loew.

 Tabanus chrysurus Loew. Description: The insect is commonly known as Lù Méng.

(3).Tabanus mandarinus Schiner.

 Tabanus mandarinus Schiner. Description: The insect is commonly known as Huá Méng. It is slightly bigger, about 1~3 cm long, stout, and hairy. Its head is wide, eyes are big, the piercing mouth apparatus is short, and the antennae have only three segments. Larvae live in bogs and are carnivorous. The female sucks the blood of humans and animals. Humans (Homo sapiens) are easy to be bitten by it.

 Tabanus mandarinus Schiner. The female insect is 16~18 mm long, gray-black. The forehead is yellowish gray, the basal scapula is nearly ovoid, yellowish-brown. The base of the first segment of the antenna is red-brown, with sharp protrusions, transparent wings, and brown veins. The chest backplate is gray, with 5 distinct black-gray (charcoal gray) longitudinal bands. The abdomen is round and obtuse, and has an apparent white spot. The male insect is similar to the female insect, slightly bigger than the female insect, with a conical abdomen.

 Characters of herbs: The dried insect body is oblong, 1.3~1.7 cm long, and 5~10 mm wide. The head is dark brown, and most of the compound eyes have fallen off; The chest is dark brown, the back is shell-shaped and bright, the wings are longer than the tail, the lower part of the chest is prominent and gray, and there are 5 obvious black-gray longitudinal bands with 3 pairs of feet, which are mostly broken. The abdomen is brown and yellow, with obvious white spots and 6 knots. The texture of the herb is loose and crisp. The herb has a smelly odor, it tastes bitter and salty.

(4).Atylotus bivittateinus Takahasi.

 Atylotus bivittateinus Takahasi. Description: The insect is commonly known as Suāng Bān Huáng Méng. The female insect is 13~17 mm long, and yellow-green. Its eyes are big, with a narrow black transverse band in the middle. Its forehead is yellow or grayish. The antennae of the insect are orange-yellow with conspicuous obtuse protrusions at the 3rd segment. The wings are transparent, and the veins are yellow. The abdomen is dark yellow-gray, with many golden hairs and a few black hairs. On both sides of the backplate, there are large yellow spots, gray at the abdomen. The male insects are similar to the female insects in shape but smaller.

 Life habits: The activity of adult insect is mainly in the daytime, it likes strong sunshine. The female insect feeds on the blood of livestock.

 Characters of herbs: The dried insect is yellow-green, has big eyes, with a thin horizontal black band in the center; The wings are transparent, and the veins are yellow; The abdomen is dark gray-yellow, with many golden hairy hairs and a few black hairy hairs.



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  • 1.Introduction of Meng Chong:Gadfly or Tabanus.

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