Nature: acrid, warm, toxic
Actions: Extinguishes liver wind, relieves convulsions; eliminates external wind; cleans and dissipates stagnation of toxicity; removes obstruction from channels and collaterals, relives pain, dissipates nodules.
• Wind, tetanus: acute or chronic infant convulsions, opisthotonos, spasms, seizures, lockjaw.
• Stagnation of toxicity: carbuncles, lumps, nodules, neck lumps, sores, poisonous snake bites, stings. Used internally and topically.
• Blood stasis, obstruction of channels: stubborn headaches, migraines, Bi syndrome, impotence. Directs herbs to the penis.
• Very effective at treating diphtheria (used with Gan cao in study).
• Possesses anti-tumor effects (in vitro).
• Effective for submandibular lymphadenitis.
• Some sources say to remove the legs and head – only use the trunk and tail.
• May cause stomach upset.
• Often combined with Quan xie.
• Stronger than Quan xie and Jiang can for wind and spasms. Since it is warm, is most appropriate for wind-cold. It is superior to the other two in the topical treatment of toxic swellings.
• Doctrine of signatures: Its form indicates its ability to direct to the penis and treat impotence. Liu: “Like an arrow that directs herbs to the penis.” Bugs, in general, are adept at squirming into small places, and are useful for opening blockages and freeing the channels.
• Usually taken directly in powder form (often in capsules).
• Contraindicated in pregnancy.
Hsu: Antibacterial, hypotensive, antispasmodic.
Dose: 0.9-3g (0.6-1g as powder or pill)