Nature: salty, cold
Enters: Liver, Spleen, Bladder, Lung
Actions: Removes obstructions from the channels and collaterals; relieves asthma, calms wheezing; clears heat; extinguishes liver wind; stops spasms and convulsions; promotes urination.
• Lung heat obstruction: asthma, wheezing. Clears Lung heat.
• Liver wind: convulsions with high fever, seizures – can be used alone.
• Damp-heat: Bi syndrome with red, painful, swollen joints.
• Obstruction of channels and collaterals: hemiplegia, sequelae of wind-stroke, for either hot or cold (with appropriate combination) Bi.
• Bladder heat: painful urination or retention of urine, cystitis, urinary stones, edema.
• Liver Yang rising: hypertension. Lowers blood pressure. Over 90% effective for essential hypertension in one study.
• Hot, manic type schizophrenia. (Recent use)
• Temporarily lowers men’s sperm count.
• May temporarily lengthen the penis.
• May inhibit the effects of histamine on smooth muscle.
• This herb’s effectiveness is enhanced by washing it in wine.
• This herb’s ability to treat spasms and convulsions (compared to Ling yang jiao and Gou teng) focuses mainly on its ability to open up and penetrate.
• Doctrine of signatures: earthworms’ (and other insects’) ability to remove obstructions is indicated by their skill at wriggling through small places or plowing right through the earth.
• Contains the fibrinolytic enzyme lumbrokinase. May have benefit in cardiovascular disease. One study showed “Oral lumbrokinase improves regional myocardial perfusion in patients with stable angina.”
• A very safe herb.
MLT: Insects [and worms] represent the essence of pure neurological instinct reaction that is akin to the manifestation of involuntary reflexes such as spasms, shaking, and stroke. Described as “strange proteins,” they seem to have a corrective effect on the nervous system. Customarily administered as a powder in capsules.
Hsu: Antipyretic, hypotensive (probably by direct action on CNS), bronchodilator, stimulates the uterus, small intestine and large intestine.